The fountains of youth!
THE sun came out and hundreds of people flocked to Cathedral Square to see the city’s new fountains in operation, with many youngsters taking time out to play in the new water feature.
FAMILIES had a splashing time in the summer sun as the new city centre fountains continued to be a hit.
Youngsters came out in their droves as the warm weather returned yesterday to cool off in the new Cathedral Square fountains, while shoppers and city centre workers stopped to take in Peterborough’s newest attraction.
Some children even came fully prepared and dressed in their swimming costumes ready to play in the jets of water, while balloon modellers and bubble-sword sellers took advantage of the crowds flocking there.
Peterborough City Council leader Marco Cereste said: “It is fantastic to see how popular they have been.
“I saw lots of families enjoying the fountains, watching their children play in the water and enjoying the square.”
Tests on the fountains are still continuing this week and there were short spells when they were turned off yesterday to allow contractors to continue programming them.
The spectacular lighting was also given a first test last night.
Mayor of Peterborough councillor Keith Sharp has also welcomed the new water features.
He said: “I have had a look at them this week and they are quite impressive.
“It is attractive and quite peaceful, and when the lights are working at night it will be a nice area of the city.”
Former leader of the council, councillor John Peach said he was pleased that the £11.6 million Cathedral Square project was now nearing completion.
Cllr Peach was leader of the council when the scheme was first announced and made the first ceremonial cut into the square with a digger in February 2009.
He said: “It looks more or less how I thought it would and it is pleasing to see so many people enjoying it in the sun.
“Obviously it is nice to see the project so close to completion – although I don’t know why it has taken so long to finish.
“I know there are a lot of people for and a lot of people against the fountains, but it was important for some- thing to be put in to liven the square up and make it different.
“The new design has made the square much more open. When St John’s Square at the back of the church is finished, there will be grass and vegetation and if we have farmers’ markets or concerts in the square the fountains can be turned off.
“The slabs were chosen by me so they are easy to maintain and clean.”
However, not everyone is so keen on the fountains.
Gemma Davies, assistant manager at Greggs the bakers on the square, said: “It is nice, but from a shop and health and safety point of view it is not good having so many people soaking wet running around and coming into the shop.
“We have had a few children soaking wet in here, it makes it very slippery.
“I also don’t think they are worth the money.”
A council spokeswoman said that they were working to programme the fountains so they would be switched on from early in the morning until 10pm during the summer.
These hours will be reduced gradually as winter approaches.
fun: As Peterborough bathed in sunshine so families bathed in the fountains of Cathedral Square. (METP-02-06-10RH6)