July 18, 2021 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Dumfries Fountain Project
This Boon of Pure Water: Two Creative Writing Workshops with JoAnne McKay
Join writer JoAnne McKay for two creative writing workshops exploring the celebrations and controversies of providing clean water to the town of Dumfries. What role did the devastating cholera epidemics of 1832 and 1848 play? You’ll develop your own writing to share as part of the Dumfries Fountain Project, which is seeking to restore the landmark High Street fountain to its former working glory. Relaxed, informative and fun, the workshops will take place on two Sunday afternoons in July.
1. The Cholera – Sunday 18th July, 2-4pm
As in 1832, the cholera seems to be more malignant in Dumfries than in any other part of Scotland. Perhaps the peculiar sanitary state of the town may account for this. The river Nith runs through it on one side, and on the other, but at a greater distance, is the large swamp of Lochar Moss; whilst, worse than either, there is no water brought into the town except by carts.Bells Weekly Messenger, 16th December 1848
Join writer JoAnne McKay on a walking tour of Dumfries exploring the history of the devastating cholera “visitations” in 1832 and 1848, which increased calls for clean, piped water to the town. Gather impressions and inspiration for your own writing during this relaxed, circular walk which will begin and end at the High Street fountain. Wear stout shoes, dress for the weather and bring something to take notes with.
2. A Magnificent Jet – Sunday 25th July, 2-4pm
The Provost then turned the screw of the pipe which supplies the fountain with water, and forthwith a magnificent jet was thrown up into the air, which continued playing all day afterwards.Dumfries and Galloway Standard and Advertiser, October 22nd 1851
Using contemporary reports, this indoor writing workshop with writer JoAnne McKay will help you develop new writing on the origin story of the Dumfries Fountain: the politics and processes of bringing piped water to the town – and then keeping the clean water flowing.