A water company said it would welcome a meeting to discuss the feasibility of getting a historic pump working again.

Based in Cornhill, at the top of South Street in Dorchester, the Town Pump has been the traditional gathering place for local residents to ring in the new year.

Erected in 1784, the pump is situated on the site of the town’s former Market House and is a Grade II listed structure. Water has not flowed from it for at least 80 years,

The Dorchester Civic Society wants to mark 50 years since it was founded with several projects planned to benefit the town, including the possibility of making the Town Pump once again flow with water.

The group has reached out to Wessex Water to make contact over the feasibility of the plan.

A spokesperson for Wessex Water, told the Echo: “We would be happy to meet with the Civic Society and Dorchester Town Council to discuss whether bringing the pump back into use is feasible.

“Any new connection would need to meet strict regulations and undergo rigorous testing to ensure the highest standards of water quality.”

Water supply to the Town Pump is said to have been cut-off sometime between the 1930s to 1940s, but Ian Gosling, chair of the Dorchester Civic Society, is hoping that the society can work alongside Wessex Water to see how viable returning water would be.  

A drawing of the pump in the Dunlop Motorists Guide, circa 1920, shows a tap and basin under it.

A photograph from the northern side taken in 1930 also shows a water tap on the stone base on that side, so Mr Gosling thinks that the pump was still in commission at the time it was taken.

He said of the project: “It will make people realise why that column is there, as very few people know.

“If it’s restored, it will also serve itself as a source of drinking water during the summer which will benefit the whole town.

“We’d also like to see a bigger and more detailed notice by the pump to tell people why it is such an important structure."

The mayor of Dorchester and keen local historian, Alistair Chisholm, has previously backed the ‘first class idea,’ calling it ‘excellent.’