ON SATURDAY, May 22 1897, the Tillicoultry Baking Company fountain was unveiled to mark its 50th anniversary.

At the time of its unveiling, it stood at the bottom of Hamilton Street.

The grey granite fountain was designed by Alloa architect John S Leishman with its construction being carried out by Charles McDonald of Aberdeen, renowned for its granite. Other works associated with it were undertaken by local contractors.

The baking company’s premises in Union Street and High Street were decorated with flags and bunting, as was the local Co-op buildings. At the Fellowship Rooms in Stirling Street, the Provost Archibald Walker, bailies Scott and Chalmers, and commissioners of Tillicoultry along with members of the Baking Company, the Co-op and local Friendly Societies, all gathered.

A procession was formed, including a band at its head, committee members, shepherds, and members of the Masons. It wound its way round the streets of the town, taking in Frederick Street, Mill Street, High Street, Ochil Street, Walker Terrace, Hill Street and finally Hamilton Street.

A large crowd of onlookers gathered to watch its unveiling.

Once everyone was quiet, Alexander Martin, chairman of the Scottish Wholesale Society, opened the proceedings. He began by saying how lucky they were that the weather was so fine.

He also spoke of the delay. It took time to get permission to site the fountain and for the design process, so it was in fact around six months late.

As far as he was aware only one of the founding members, James Brown of Union Street, was still alive, and the honour fell to him to unveil it. This was done as the band played Auld Lang Syne.

Mr Brown’s son spoke to the assembled dignitaries and the crowd, thanking the Baking Society for asking his father to do the honours. He said his father considered himself ‘highly honoured at being asked to perform the function of unveiling this beautiful jubilee fountain.’

Shortly afterwards, the band struck up once more and the crowd followed on behind as it headed to the Public Park. Meanwhile the Burgh Commissioners and honoured guests made their way to the Popular Institute, or Town Hall, at the top of Ochil Street where a reception took place.

Numerous speeches were given before the meeting broke up.

The fountain remained at the foot of Hamilton Street for decades before being moved to the bottom of Stirling Street where it stands today.

It is no longer a working fountain, however.