[Press Release] In early 1960 a brand new fountain was installed by Hackney Council on Stoke Newington Common.
The fountain was dedicated to Florence duVergier, the very first woman to be elected Mayor of Hackney, during the war in 1943. Originally a teacher, Florence duVergier was elected to be a Hackney Councillor in 1928 and mayor in 1943. Altogether she was a councillor for twenty-five years (1928 -53) and made a significant difference to the lives of Hackney people. She started the youth club on the Kingsmead Estate, and undertook substantial work in the fields of public health, housing and older people.
On 22nd April 1960, the drinking fountain was officially opened by Maurice Blitz the then Mayor of Hackney. The first people to have a drink from the new fountain were three year-old Tony Paul and his big sister Annette, who then lived in Garnham Street (now Smalley Estate).
Unfortunately the fountain fell into complete disrepair and has been out of action for at least 20 years. But a local community group, Stoke Newington Common Users Group (SNUG), have now managed to restore the fountain to full working order, with help from the Drinking Fountain Association, Metal Mania, M&M Heating and Plumbing, and Angus Hutchinson.
SNUG plan to organise an official re-opening of the fountain and would really like to invite Tony and/or Annette to officiate at the opening. If either of you are reading this or you know how we might contact Tony or Annette please contact SNUG (Berni Graham – 0208 442 4728).