RESIDENTS in Melksham are to explore ways of raising funds to commemorate and preserve the town’s historic wells which were unearthed recently as part of the £560,000 Market Place redevelopment.

They have convened another meeting on Tuesday, October 24, at Melksham Town Hall, starting at 7pm, for a working group set up to progress the Melksham Wells Project.

So far, 11 people from Melksham have volunteered to form a committee to explore how to commemorate and preserve the two wells, which were re-discovered in August.

Mayor Cllr Adrienne Westbrook said they are hoping to install commemorative metal or stone plaques within inscriptions to mark the site of the wells following their last meeting on September 19.

“In discussion, the stone plaque was universally favoured and I have undertaken to inform Wiltshire Council of this view,” Cllr Westbrook said.

Project group members have volunteered to conduct historical research on the wells and will be consulting Wiltshire Council, Melksham Town Council and architects to progress the project.

They are also approaching the Melksham Historical Society, the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Wessex Water, local colleges and universities, archaeologists and historians for more details on the wells.

Cllr Westbrook said: “This will be a long project, but it’s great that the community wants to get involved and do something about it. The town council will continue to help, advise and support the group wherever needed.”

Wiltshire Council says the site of both wells will be marked with engraved paving stones. Ideas for the inscriptions have been sent to the Melksham Historical Society and Wiltshire Council for consideration.

Already, two ideas have been put forward: ‘This is the site of the Melksham Town Pump, put up by public subscription in 1789’ and ‘This well was discovered during the town square improvements in 2017’.

Anyone interested in contributing is welcome to attend the meeting next Tuesday.