Funchal, on the island of Madeira, has more than enough drinking fountains for a dedicated tourist trail. If we had to pick one that really stands out for twinning, it would have to be this one which is situated up on the hill just north of the casino. There is also a very circuituous and tenuous link back to the Whitley Pump.
German artist Max Römer featured the Fontanario da Imperatriz in more than one of his watercolours. Next to the fountain there is a reproduction of one of his works in tiles. Römer moved to Madeira in the 1920s and produced a prolific output of paintings and other artworks.
His work includes five large murals on the walls of the tasting room Blandy’s wine lodge in the centre of Funchal. They depict the stages of wine production from planting the vines to transporting wine barrels.
John Blandy (1783-1855) arrived in Madeira in 1808 and founded the business as wine shipper and general trader with two of his brothers in 1811. His grandfather was Charles Blandy of Lambourn, the brother of William Blandy who moved to Reading and was the grandfather of town clerk and solicitor John Jackson Blandy.
John Jackson Blandy (1794-1866) lived at Highgrove House and, in the early 1860s, he was responsible for filling in the King’s Head Pond and, in 1864, the building of the original Whitley Pump on the pond site.