• Donnington Grove

The Tomlin Fountain

Ann Jenkins was born in 1832 in Thatcham to William and Ann Jenkins. William worked as a farmer and farrier at Waterside Farm in Thatcham. He was so good as a farrier he became known as Dr Jenkins.

Ann married Stephen Tomlin and together they moved to Hall Court Farm in Midgham. Shortly after the death of her husband in 1869, Ann moved back to Thatcham living at a property in Station Road. She purchased Sydney Lodge in 1890 for £755 but appears to have not lived there initially and rented it out to one of the local surgeons. By 1911 though she was living at Sydney Lodge with at least one servant.

In 1911, a proposal to mark the Coronation of King George V at a Thatcham Parish meeting was put forward. The proposal was to install a drinking fountain in the Broadway, or Broad Street as it was then known. The majority of those at the council meeting though thought it was too ambitious. That is until Mrs Ann Tomlin offered to pay for it.

The unveiling ceremony took place on 5th July 1911. The fountain stood unaltered until 1939 when a public lavatory was built adjoining it. By 1969 the fountain and facilities were no longer adequate and were demolished to make way for new facilities.

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