There was a drinking fountain at the corner of Westgate Street and Cowbridge Road, which was incorporated into a gas lamp post. In 1880 an explosion took place there, reported as follows:-
Owing to the severe weather the roads are frozen hard, and in many places the water in the pipes leading to the houses is frozen in the ground under the roadway, hundreds of persons depending on those who are more favourably situated for a supply of water for domestic purposes. All the drinking fountains in the town are stopped from the same cause. Among them is the handsome gas pillar and drinking fountain at the corner of Westgate Street, and the Cowbridge-road. The gas pillar has a large square basement, on the sides of which are the drinking fountains, approached by massive stone steps. Above the jets of water is a handsome cast-iron pillar, surmounted with three lamps. The basement portion of the post is hollow, and this would be filled with gas in the usual way. On Wednesday morning a man in the employ of the Corporation endeavoured to thaw the water pipes, so as to get a supply of water to the fountain. For this purpose he dug a hole in the ground near the stone steps, and when he had reached the pipe, as he supposed, he made a fire for the purpose of thawing the water. Both water and gas pipes are contageous, and in a short time the gas pipe melted, and the fire communicating with the gas a terrific explosion took place, which blew up the stone steps, smashed the iron pillar in pieces, some of the fragments being thrown a considerable distance. The noise of the explosion was heard a great way off, and caused much alarm. Fortunately no one was injured, but a number of persons had narrow escapes from the falling fragments of the pillar.
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