Answers on a couple of things

01:05, May 04 2012

Couple of things I have noticed.

One is the pair of fountains in Bythel Place in the middle of Blenheim, outside Cornerstone on Maxwell Rd.

I spotted them about a year ago – walking around with my eyes down – and have been waiting to see them play on a special day or some such. Hasn't happened.

The fountains are on opposite sides of the street and can be easily missed because there is nothing sticking out of the ground. They appear to be a series of water jets set into the ground in a small square, all pointing towards a drain in the middle.

Could be quite nice sitting outside Cornerstone or Scotch watching the water play quietly on the cobblestones.

Quite a few people I've asked can remember seeing the jets spouting water but can't remember when they dried up, or even that they had.

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I asked the council and was told the fountains were put in about 12 years ago during CBD upgrading but "design and installation issues" cropped up, with the "designers and the contractors in conflict". The council would not accept the higher than expected maintenance costs and the fountains were turned off two years ago. Can't find that reported anywhere.

The council's long-term townscape plan for Blenheim includes removing one of the fountains and upgrading the other, but there is no timeline. Shame.

I've haven't been able to track down a picture of the fountains working, to see whether they measure up to my mental image.

Another thing. The hideously bright painted walls under some of the bridges along the Taylor River. Red and blue, in-your-face, colours that don't fit nicely with the park theme of the riverbanks.

Again, I asked the council and was told it was an experiment to see whether the bright paint would discourage graffiti.

The walls had been grey and dark green and were regularly defaced by taggers. The council has already spent more than $8000 this financial year covering up graffiti, and they hope brightening the walls will cut the cover-up costs.

They were worried about me doing too much on the painting, but I think it's safe to say not many graffiti types will be reading this blog. Just a guess.

And three mornings this week, I have noticed two or three older women – maybe in their early 70s – walking through town with bags jammed full of drink cans. One of them has one of those grabber sticks old people use to pick things up when they can't bend down.

I'm guessing they combine their early-morning walk with a clean-up operation.

Well done to them, getting some exercise and doing something for the town.

At least that's my guess. Would be a hoot if they are just taking their empties to a bin in town so the rubbish people don't judge them by what's in their recycling crate. Surely not.

The Marlborough Express