In 2008 Glasgow Engineering were requested, by the Launceston City Council, to inspect cracks that had formed in the central base area of the Adye Douglas Water Fountain.
As the base material is cast iron it was decided that the only approach to repair was to remove the fountain back to the Glasgow works for welding to be undertaken under controlled conditions. The fountain was removed from its existing site on the Elphin Road, High Street intersection, upon which, it was discovered that the base had fallen into further disrepair than first thought. It is believed that some 60 years ago the water trough, in its original position in the middle of Elphin Road, was damaged in an incident involving a truck. The impact from that collision resulted in some of the damage that we see today on the water trough. The base plate had fractured or delaminated in the same manner as shale or slate and fell to pieces when lifting the trough with the crane. Other previous poor quality repairs were discovered as well. One of the horse’s legs had many cracks and missing sections. This was strapped and bolted together with mild steel flat bar and then the leg was filled with lead. The dog dishes had nearly corroded through and were badly cracked and pitted. Glasgow Engineering undertook extensive research on the fountain and its manufacturer Walter MacFarlane. It was then discovered that the fountain was actually a water trough and was designed for supplying water for drivers, horses and dogs. The original trough had a central lamp post and was pattern number 27 in the Walter MacFarlane catalogue.