Janet Langdon (centre red coat) together Mayor of Hastings Cllr Judy Rogers and the leader Hastings Borough Council Cllr Peter Chowney (right of fountain).
Janet Langdon (centre red coat) together Mayor of Hastings Cllr Judy Rogers and the leader Hastings Borough Council Cllr Peter Chowney (right of fountain).

Press Release by Tracy Hobden

The restoration of an historic drinking water fountain on St Leonards seafront has been marked by Cllr Peter Chowney, the leader of Hastings Borough Council, Cllr Judy Rogers, the mayor of Hastings, and descendants of James Castello, who gave the drinking water fountain to St Leonards in memory of his wife, Edith, who died in 1907.

James Castello lived at No 10 The Mount, named Elliris after his two children Ellis and Iris. During their lifetime Ellis and Iris ensured that the fountain was maintained in good condition. When their four children, James’ grandchildren, all of whom attended the commemoration, realised that restoration work was required they approached Hastings Borough Council. The council met just over half of the cost of the work, with the Castello family contributing the rest.

Janet Langdon, 76, James Castello’s youngest grandchild, was the driving force behind the restoration work. She said: “The family is delighted with the work that has been carried out on this drinking water fountain, which has been operational since my grandfather gave it to the town 108 years ago, and continues to be used by passing walkers, cyclists and dogs. Indeed, we believe it has provided drinking water continuously for longer than any other drinking water fountain in the country. Hastings Borough Council has been very supportive, and local stonemasons Burslem, have done a superb job of restoring it.”

Cllr Peter Chowney added: “This has been a great project, and I am very pleased indeed that we were able to work in partnership with the Castello family to restore the fountain. It was good, too, to see all four of James’ grandchildren here, five of his six great grandchildren, and one of his five great great grandchildren. The drinking water fountain has served the town and its visitors well for 108 years, and I am sure it will now continue to do so well into the future.”