On June 18, 1940 it was decided at a meeting of High Wycombe Town Council that the fountain in Frogmoor would “go to help the nation’s war effort.

The metal will find its way into guns, and a landmark which was once a pride and glory in its gardens and which has since fallen into disuse will make way for modern needs”.

Councillor Gibbs in moving the recommendation said that “The fountain is now out of date. Things have moved on considerably since it was erected.

"It could be put to a more worthy purpose if the metal of the fountain could be used for the country.” Councillor Brocklehurst in seconding the motion stated

“The fountain was in the way of development”.

Ominous words indeed!

In fact the removal of the fountain had been the subject of letters to the Bucks Free Press for some time.

For example only on May 17, 1940 a gentleman by the name of Forbes Liston had written “Sir, though old Wycombists may regard the Fountain at Frogmoor with affection and esteem second only to Eros, to the visitor it is ‘Gilbertian’ (ie whimsical or ludicrous) in another sense.

"It is made entirely of iron and if sold for scrap would put money in the Town Council’s Exchequer, be a patriotic act, and finally vastly improve the appearance of Frogmoor.”

This respondent goes on to say “There have been indications that the council have cast covetous eyes for purposes of their own... The removal of the fountain on a patriotic pretext may be but the thin end of the wedge.”

A columnist in the newspaper, who prepared the column headed County Gossip, wrote: “The metal portion of the fountain at Frogmoor is to find its way into guns, or something equally important to the war effort.

"There will be many who will hail this more exultantly, but others who cherished the fountain because of its associations with the past, will be sorry at its passing.

"Once it stood in its glory in gardens, replaced now by the ugly, if more practical flagstones, and surrounded by shady trees, now non-existent.

"Old folk sat by its side while the cool water played and the children kept cool beneath it. Now the townspeople eye it with some disdain as they wait at the bus terminus.

"It has been the subject of gibes. Not so very long ago the town woke up to find it daubed with paint and marked by a notice ‘For sale. Apply to the Town Clerk’.

‘The fountain must go’ has been the cry for some years. Well, it goes now in a good cause and so, perhaps, there will be less regret”.

Only a week later another letter to the editor, sent in by somebody with pseudonym of ‘Forwarned’, wrote “No-one is likely to regret overmuch the decision to remove the fountain at Frogmoor but their dislike of its ugliness comes strangely seeing they have allowed it to stand for years surrounded by a couple of inches of stagnant water garnished with miscellaneous bits of rubbish.”

Some might think that it strange that today many people pine for the return of the fountain, one that at least functions properly, when eighty years ago it’s removal was greeted with satisfaction by many of the town’s inhabitants.

But what happened to the fountain? If you have any suggestions please contact Mike Dewey 01628 525207 or email him deweymiked@aol.com