The Welltrees Spout
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The Welltrees Spout is so named after the large ash tree which surmounts it. It used to be calculated to yield 10,000 gallons per hour, but this was found, on actual experiment, to be one of those floating errors which abound everywhere. Still, the Spring gives 3,600 gallons per hour, or exactly a gallon per second, which is wonderfully large too. It comes bursting forth from the solid free-stone rock on which the town is built, and has always been a great boon to the townspeople. In Johnnie Stuffie’s days, it was, of course, of more consequence than now, seeing we have water brought into the town in pipes, but even yet the Spout is largely taken advantage of, and much valued. Up till within three years ago, the Fountain was open, and exposed to the risk of children falling into it, and the certainty of refuse of all kinds being blown into it; while the retaining wall had latterly so far given way as to threaten its utter extinction. But from a sum of money realised at a Loan Exhibition held in the town, supplemented by a handsome donation from Mr Paterson of Monkwood (in all £52), the old Fountain was rescued from its state of dilapidation, and set up once more to run its course of usefulness for some time longer.

The first drawing here given represents the Welltrees Spout during the interval between the first and the second series of improvements made on it. The retaining wall was then built, with the iron rails on top, and the motto engraved

—" YE NE’ER KEN THE WORTH O’ WATER TILL THE WELL GANGS DRY."

 

But the Fountain itself was not enclosed so that the water might be kept pure and cool, nor was the conduit that leads from it covered over, and the place otherwise made tidy. Perhaps it looked more picturesque in those early days, but it certainly was not so sanitary; and any one who can remember the old shoes and dirty rags and fish-heads that used to abound in the Fountain in days gone by, may well be thankful that they do so no longer.

The Welltrees Spout comes bursting out
From its bed of silent stone,
Like the Smitten Rock of old that flowed
In Horeb’s desert lone.
And its waters cool from their bubbling pool
Leap up to the light of day,
As glad to look on the face of man
And cheer him on his way

Full many a scene of the Past, I ween,
Is linked with that quiet spot,
And many a face once knew that place
Whom earth now knoweth not.
Yet still the big Ash lifts its head,
And sings to the passing breeze,
While the children gay shout at their play
Round the steps of the old Welltrees.

O Welltrees Spout, that gushest out
With waters clear and cold,
I give thee the praise of useful days,
And the thanks of young and old.
I wish that my life were with good as rife,
And my heart from stains as free,
As the waters that rise to my gladdened eyes
From the root of thy old Ash tree.

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