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Rotary club plans green gift to city to mark centenary

Rotary club plans green gift to city to mark centenary

Canterbury Rotary in Kent is celebrating its centenary next year, and the club is looking to make a splash with a green gift to the city.

The club is hoping to mark the event by gifting a unique and eco-friendly water bottle refilling point to the cathedral city.

Two bottle refilling points will be housed in an elegant carved stone column that will make it an attraction for visitors.

Built by local architects James Clague Architects, the column will be carved with a quote from John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress: Behold ye, how these crystal streams do glide, To comfort pilgrims by the highway-side’.

CanterburyIt will also feature a circular window which will allow people to interact with it as a frame for pictures.

The column’s location lies near the historical site of a drinking water fountain in the city which was destroyed during the Second World War.

Recent figures showed there were nearly eight million trips to Canterbury in a year.

Currently, there are few water bottle refilling opportunities.

The refilling station will allow tourists and visitors to the city – including the many schoolchildren who visit during the summer months – to have easy access to fresh drinking water without having to buy single-use plastic bottles which adds to the city’s waste.

“The unique new feature will make a real difference to waste pollution and help reduce plastic use in the city,” said Stephen Thompson, the President-Elect, who will take over the reins for the centenary year.

The unique new feature will make a real difference to waste pollution and help reduce plastic use in the city,”

“The aesthetically pleasing column, designed with residents and tourists in mind, will be more in keeping with the city’s rich history than a purely functional, contemporary structure.

“We believe the people of Canterbury will see the column as a loved local landmark, and that both tourists and locals will want to be photographed with it as well as use it.”

Stephen will be the club’s 100th President and follows in the footsteps of both his father, David, and grandfather, John, who were presidents of the Rotary Club of Canterbury in 1971/72 and 1947/48 respectively.

Architect, Andrew Clague said “We have created a unique design that is sensitive to its special location and encourages interaction.”

We believe the people of Canterbury will see the column as a loved local landmark, and that both tourists and locals will want to be photographed with it as well as use it.”

The column was designed in consultation with Canterbury City Council and representatives of local community groups.

Although initially conceived as a drinking water fountain combined with a water bottle refilling station, the club altered its plans following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to solely water bottle refilling.

The costs of building the column will be met entirely by the clubs with funds which they plan to raise through grants, crowdfunding and financial backing from Rotarians, community members and businesses.

The council will oversee the upkeep of the column. A formal planning application was lodged with the council in January.

Building will commence only when sufficient funding is in place to complete the project, but it is hoped that a completion date in 2022 can be achieved despite current uncertainties.