Answers on a couple of things

Last updated 10:37 04/05/2012

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.

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

6 comments
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BN   #1   11:01 am May 04 2012

I like this blog. Thanks.

Bree   #2   11:45 am May 04 2012

I remember them going in 2009 when I was helping out with the christmas parade as someone threw lollies at the right moment towards the fountain and children got soaked.

Trish   #3   12:35 pm May 04 2012

I too had noticed the old ladies with the cans a few weeks ago and mentioned it on the MEX facebook page, thought there might have been some story behind it. Guess there wasn't.

Harold   #4   04:42 pm May 04 2012

Now that seems a typical blenheim attitude towards colour. Blenheim is such a colourless place, it's like all the fun of the world bypasses the town completely! The parking building for example, it had great promise to start to liven up the place with a splash of colour, but they used brown instead. Awesome work there. I bet if the bridge supports were painted brown the town would be a much nicer place...

MIKE VEAL   #5   12:51 pm May 05 2012

The fountains were superb. To turn them off because of a maintenance dispute seems odd. What a waste of ratepayer money if this is true. They were part of Blenheim's beautification project. Another thought. Why are the hanging flower baskets in the CBD so high they cannot be seen while walking down the street. In Nelson they are beneath the verandahs, very visible and very beautiful.

JoSi   #6   09:20 am May 08 2012

So "the fountains were put in about 12 years ago" and "were turned off two years ago", so operated for about 10 years, roughly between 2000 and 2010. I lived in Blenheim for three years during that time and don't ever remember seeing them working. Can anyone send a photo to The Express?

I agree with Harold #4 about the colour of the walls under the bridges along the river. A bit more colour around the place wouldn't go amiss.

And I have seen the elderly can-collecting ladies as well - I assumed they were supplementing their income, or is there no "cash for cans" aluminium recycling in Marlborough?

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