Pictorial history exhibition tells story of the Fountain

In the immediate aftermath of the death of William King, a barricade erected where Fountain Street met Bishop Street, September 1969.
In the immediate aftermath of the death of William King, a barricade erected where Fountain Street met Bishop Street, September 1969.

This week saw the launch of a pictorial local history exhibition telling in brief the fascinating story of the Fountain community during the 20th century.

The exhibition, which opened on Monday, was developed by present day and former Fountain residents who participated in local history workshops and laboured to find photographs that encapsulated the Fountain story.

Greta Elkin with guitar in centre of photo.

Greta Elkin with guitar in centre of photo.

The exhibition was jointly funded by Derry City Council Museum and Heritage Services and Lloyd’s TSB and the application process was supported by TRIAX Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership staff.

The exhibition, designed by the Lermagh Design, based at Iona Park, Southway, was launched in the Thiepval Gallery in Georges Street off Wapping Lane by the city mayor, Maurice Devenney.

Willie Temple, secretary of Bob Harte Memorial Trust, one of the organisers, said: “This exhibition provides a snapshot of life in the Fountain during the 20th century and tells a story that we in the Fountain can rightly be proud of.

All of the residents’ team who worked together to finalise this exhibition deserve a mention - Peter Simpson, Alistair Simpson, Peter Lyttle, Arthur Thompson, Trevor Temple and Gasyard Development Trust worker Catherine Pollock who typed up all of the text.

“We hope that people from all the communities around the Fountain and of course school groups will take the opportunity to come along and see the exhibition here in George’s Street – Such visits can only be good for promoting more understanding of each other’s communities and developing better relations,” they said.

Jim Arbuckle, a member of the Bob Harte Memorial Trust, was another of the team who helped put together the exhibition.

Jim said: “This exhibition provides an opportunity for Fountain residents to tell their own story. Given that the exhibition stretches right through the 20th century, inevitably there are times of joyous celebration as well as times of deep tragedy.”

The exhibition is open to the public on St. Patrick’s Day between 2.30pm and 4.30 pm. Otherwise it can be viewed by appointment by ringing William Temple at 02871 345227.