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Caithness News Bulletins November 2005

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Dr John Grant Smith Memorial, Esplanade, Thurso -  Refurbishment
Following countless years of neglect, Dr John Grant Smith's Memorial Fountain has at last seen a refurbishment due to the involvement of Thurso Community Council. Although not functioning as a fountain, the memorial has received a major face lift thanks to a generous donation from UKAEA Dounreay and the selfless efforts of Mr Robbie Maitland, painter and decorator. Using his artistic skills, Mr Maitland has brought the memorial back to prominence for both locals and tourists alike to enjoy, whilst also bringing a little part of the history to the fore.

It was due to this fine and much respected Doctor that Thurso old town saw clean piped water, cleaner streets and much improved hygiene. Whilst working on the memorial Mr Maitland said that he was amazed at the amount of interest generated by the refurbishment.

Dr John Grant Smith was born at Lochside, Halkirk but did not follow in his father's footsteps, opting instead to become a doctor. He studied in Edinburgh and practised in Thurso for some forty four years until his sudden death in 1898 aged 67 years, by which time he had become a valued medical man and recognised authority in sanitary science. Such was the respect among the populace for this man that following his death the good folk of Thurso commissioned this monument to his memory and raised the cost of such by public subscription. Originally the fountain stood in the Town Hall Square but was moved to the Esplanade in the 1950's.

Pictured beside the refurbished monument are (left to right) Marie Mackay, UKAEA Dounreay; Don Smith, Historian and Community Councillor and Robbie Maitland.

Interestingly bill Fernie had taken a series of photos in September 2005 after noticing the newly painted statue but until now had no idea who had undertaken the work - Well done to all concerned.