As you walk around the city today, you will come across many monuments and memorials in stone.

The majority of these were built by just one company and they form a string of landmarks which tell the story of our town in the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th century.

From the sailing of Titanic to gravestones of humble and not so humble residents, Garrett and Haysom created lasting records of people and events past.

The partnership between the masonry firms of John Garrett and Martyn Haysom dates from around 1877 and they had premises in East Street.

Their early order books show orders for headstones and more ornate funerary memorials, usually accompanied by a sketch of the design in the margin.

The orders ranged from simple headstones costing one pound to far more costly items: Geoffrey Perkins, for instance, in 1883 ordered additions for a family monument in polished red granite for which he paid £190 and ten shillings.

Two years later, in 1885, they received an order of even greater significance.

Major-General Charles Gordon, also known as Chinese Gordon, often stayed at the family home in Rockstone Place.

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After his death in Khartoum, it was decided to erect a memorial to him in Queen’s Park and Garrett and Haysom were commissioned.

The resulting structure was unveiled in 1885 and is grade II listed.

In 1889 the firm tendered successfully for the construction and erection of the Sayers Memorial Clock Tower. Most of us think of this as the Bitterne Park Triangle Clock Tower but it originally stood in Above Bar close to the junction with New Road.

The growth of motorised traffic and the need for the installation of automatic signals meant that that in 1933 the combined clocktower and drinking fountain had to be relocated to the outskirts of the town.

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The availability of clean drinking water for people and animals was still a priority at the turn of the century at a time when the scourge of cholera was still vivid in many memories.

One horse trough and drinking fountain built by Garrett and Haysom still stands at the juncture of Bevois Valley and Rockstone Lane.

Another of note is the trough built in memory of Mme Maes which stands by the south-west corner of the old walls. She was a local philanthropist who lived in a house which literally enclosed part of the wall.

Other works by the firm include the Pilgrim Fathers’ memorial, numerous monuments in the Old Cemetery, including the grade II Nicholas Mausoleum and a monument donated by Martyn Haysom to his hometown which stands on Asylum Green, the Avenue.

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However, probably the most iconic and saddest commission they were given was to design and carve the Titanic crew memorial.

The plight of the Engineer Officers who stayed at their posts and died in the sinking, seemed to engage the interest and sympathy of people worldwide.

Donations for their memorial poured in and the elaborate bronze and granite memorial in East Park was the result.

The deaths of firemen, stewards, stewardesses, kitchen staff and other crew members failed to fire the public imagination in the same way.

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It took so long to painstakingly scrape together enough for a memorial that the mayor felt obliged to justify the delay at the inauguration in July 1915. He explained, “The fact is that the subscriptions towards the cost came mainly from the relatives and friends of the crew, many of whom paid small weekly amounts.”

Messrs Garrett and Haysom did what they could with the limited amount available.

They provided a Portland stone carving in classic style, featuring a bas relief of the ship above an urn and mounted on a two-step platform of Purbeck stone.

This was sited at the entrance of the Common but repeated vandalism made its relocation inevitable.

Since 1972 it has been behind bars beneath the tower at Holy Rood Church.

By Ally Hayes - tour guide with .