FOUNTAIN GARDENS, LOVE STREET
This plain little park is not one you will usually find on any tourist's
itinerary. But it should be. It is Paisley's oldest park, and was a gift
from Thomas Coats in 1868. Within its unassuming charm you will two
magnificent testimonies as to the skills of sculptors and iron founders
in the past. First there's a stunning statue of poet
modelled in the 1890s by London sculptor Frederick Pomeroy. Then there
is a fountain, as magnificent a fountain as you will find anywhere
(although alas and alack there's precious little skooshing or squirting
going on with the plumbing nowadays). It was made in George Smith's
foundry in Glasgow in 1868, and depicts a whole range of painted cast
iron animals ranging from giant walruses to dolphins and lizards.
George Smith, it seems, got the contract for every piece of iron work
in the park, including the railings, benches, gates, urns, and even the
small 'Keep Off the Grass' signs. Sigh, those were the days.