Ossett Pictures - Market Place 1900

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Ossett Market Place 1900

In this 1900 photograph of Ossett Market Place, the Pickard Memorial Fountain can be clearly seen. Miss Hannah Pickard (1838-1891) was a member of a prominent Ossett textile family. Green Mount was erected on the site of the cottage which had been tenanted by the successive generations of Pickards. The family had existed in Ossett for generations.

In an extract from her Will: "I direct my executors to erect a drinking fountain and water trough combined, for the use of cattle and dogs, in the market place, Ossett, or in some other suitable situation, at a cost of about £500, to be presented to the Corporation of Ossett as a memorial of the incorporation of Ossett, and of the donor".

In Sept 1892 it was reported that there had been seventeen designs submitted for the fountain, and the design chosen was by W.A. Kendall, an Ossett architect. By July 1893, the erection of the fountain had commenced, with a wooden hoarding around the site.

It was officially unveiled 21st Oct 1893 by the Mayor of Ossett, Councillor F. L. Fothergill. A procession was formed at the Temperance Hall, headed by the Ossett Borough Band. They walked to the fountain, which was surrounded by a crowd of two or three thousand people. A couple of letters were read from Miss Pickard's executor, and then the relevent part of Miss Pickard's Will. The band then played "Auld Lang Syne". After a speech by the Mayor, the water was turned on, and the Mayor then filled one of the cups and drank to the prosperity of the Borough of Ossett. After more speeches and music, the procession returned to the Temperance Hall, where nearly thirty Ossett residents were entertained at tea by the Mayor.