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La Croix de la Reine could become a water feature

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A MONUMENT built to commemorate the Queen’s silver jubilee could be converted into a water feature, subject to planning permission being given.

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La Croix de la Reine, near the bottom of King Street – opposite Superdrug – is currently used as a planter.

However, the parish hopes to replicate the atmosphere of a number of French towns, where water features are in place.

Tony Andrews, director of parks and gardens for St Helier, said: ‘The Constable was in France and travelling through some of the smaller towns when he noticed some of them had water features which really added a different ambiance.’

‘We do have some but not many water features in town.

‘Where we are proposing to put one is the gateway into the main precinct and we thought it would be great, not only for greeting people, but also to provide a bit of background noise which is quite relaxing.

‘I think it is a great idea. It should be a fantastic addition to the streetscape and add a bit of life to what is a sterile area.’

Construction of Croix de la Reine – ‘Cross of the Queen’ – began in 1977 and was visited by the Queen and Prince Philip the following year to mark her silver jubilee.

At the time, her majesty was presented with a ‘Book of the Cross’ which illustrated the construction of the cross and the story behind the various granite engravings.

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St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft said that the stonework around the Croix de la Reine would be slightly altered to allow people to sit around the fountain – akin to the work that was carried out to the Le Sueur War Monument on Broad Street.

‘I have seen these kind of water features in a number of French towns, particularly in Lessay in Normandy, which should be familiar to a lot of readers. You can sit in the square there, relax and listen to the sounds of the water,’ he said.

‘It is well known with historic towns that water features are extremely good for the town and add an extra element to the visitor experience.’

He added: ‘A number of people who I have spoken to in the area think it is a good idea and the catalyst that got it moving was that we were approached by a sponsor who wanted to help fund a town centre project. Apart from a bit of parish labour, it should be completely privately sponsored.’

The Constable said that if planning permission was given, he hoped to start work as quickly as possible.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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