Wednesday 13 April 2011

Belcher Drinking Fountain in Geelong, Victoria, Australia made in Derby by Andrew Handyside in 1874.

Andrew Handyside who made Friar Gate bridge also made lots of decorative fountains. These fountains were made right here in Derby at the Duke Street Foundry "Britannia Iron Works".

Andrew Handyside exported many decorative fountains around the world during the Victorian era.
The Britannia Foundry's work was well known for its fine quality so these fountains can be found all over the globe but where exactly they are located is difficult to find out.
Thankfully because of my research here people are beginning to contact me with details of Handyside work, I am then able to add it to my world map. It really helps my research being able to use Flickr to see these items for myself and share these finds with the world!

Right here at the junction of Malop Street and Gheringhap Street in Geelong, Victoria, Australia there proudly stands a great creation by Andrew Handyside. The Belcher Drinking Fountain was presented to the Town of Geelong by retiring Mayor Councillor GF Belcher in 1874.

This particular design of fountain is listed as Design Number 48 on Page 40 of the 1879 publication "An Illustrated book of Designs for Fountains and Vases, costing from £1 to £1200 manufactured by Andrew Handyside".This very same fountain (but not in as good condition) can be found in the grounds of St Pancras Old Church in London, UK.

Doesn't it make you feel proud that on the other side of the planet stands this decorative fountain that has clearly been cared for the last 137 years. And to think this was made in Derby and I doubt there are many people in Derby that know this fact, until now that is !!!

Read about George Frederick Belcher (1823-1909).

Photographs of this fountain:

Photograph of Belcher Fountain in Geelong, Victoria, Australia:
The Belcher Drinking Fountain in Geelong, Australia 4 of 6

Another photograph of Belcher Fountain in Geelong, Victoria, Australia :
The Belcher Drinking Fountain in Geelong, Australia 2 of 6

Photograph of drinking spouts on the Belcher Fountain in Geelong, Victoria, Australia :
The Belcher Drinking Fountain in Geelong, Australia 1 of 6

Photograph of cupid figure and lantern on the top of the
Belcher Fountain in Geelong, Victoria, Australia :
The Belcher Drinking Fountain in Geelong, Australia 5 of 6

Photograph of plaques on the Belcher Fountain in Geelong, Victoria, Australia :
The Belcher Drinking Fountain in Geelong, Australia 6 of 6

I would like to thank Peter Williams for taking the above photographs for me.

Google Streetview of the Belcher Drinking Fountain in Geelong.

Map Location:
View my Andrew Handyside World Map to see the exact location of this fountain on the world map. My world map is the result of hundreds of hours of research into the company, plotting out each item as I find it.

Does anyone out there have a short video of this fountain that they care to share on YouTube?

Can you help find more Andrew Handyside stuff ?
If anyone out there knows of any other Fountains around the world bearing the Handyside badge that I have not mentioned yet then please get in touch with details, location, photographs etc.



  1. Bit of a long shot this Andy, but are you aware of any Handyside fountains in Derby (or that might have originally been located in Derby and later moved)?

    The reason I ask is that when I was browsing old maps of the Strutts Park area online, I came across a map from 1883 that showed my house on North Street clearly marked with a fountain in the garden!

    Needless to say there is no fountain there now, nor any mention of it in the deeds, but it seemed odd to have such a feature marked on an OS map. Given the proximity of the Handyside Foundry I’m wildly trying to connect the dots.

    The 1883 map shows the houses laid out but this must have been very close to the construction date (somewhere between the 1871 and 1881 census) so it’s possible that the fountain was a feature of “Strutts Park” that just ended up in the garden by chance and was moved somewhere else at a later date?

    It’s very puzzling!

  2. Rob, The fountain marked in your garden may well have been a Handyside one as its only a stones throw away from Duke street where they were made. They were bought by the wealthy families of the time. Thousands were made but no records kept of where, its only the ones that remain today such as in town centres around the world that you hear about and that people contact me about.