Saturday, 29 November 2014

What is a Pant?

"What is a pant?" is a question often asked by Felling folk and other Geordies, who have or had a pant in their town. Is it primarily a memorial/commemoration or a drinking fountain?
It is a drinking fountain
often, but not always, used as a war memorial or as a commemoration of a coronation

 There's many drinking fountains in the North East but the following are called pants. Additionally, there are also pants to be found in Corbridge, Hexham, Embleton, Bamburgh and Lesbury
Pant near Alnwick, Northumberland

The Sandgate Pant, now gone, was at the junction of Sandgate and the Milk Market Newcastle upon Tyne c.1900. The Milk Market is in the background with the Tyne public house to the left and Johnson Dodds warehouse to the right

Bowden Pant Well, near Scottish Border
Dated 1861

The Pant on The Green, West Auckland
A Victorian water feature, adapted to commemorate Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1897 (plaque inserted near top of the front face) and a War Memorial recently placed adjacent.

The Pant Well at Newcastleton
The Pant Well in Douglas Square was designed in the late 19th century and has a domed roof. The lamp was added later.

The best of the pants in the North East and Borders are significantly less iconic than the Felling one was. It is the local authority that takes the initiative and oversees the preservation of these monuments which are invariably listed. What is gallingly ironic here is that not only was our monument not preserved by, but was actually destroyed by, the Local Authority

It was an unknown petty official of the Council who confined it to be broken up and used as landfill. This was the property of the people (funded by public subscription) and were it not beyond time limitation (or is it?) a formal public liability claim could be lodged, in negligence, to secure a replacement.The word "pant" is used most frequently in the North East, including the Borders. As a word for a town or district it does also crop up in Wales and in England, near the Welsh border.  Here's local historian Joan Hewitt in her history notes
 The memorial was popularly called 'The Pant' (old northern word for a fountain). Local wits said "No wonder, after climbing the High Street!"
For more on The Felling's pant

For more pant examples

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