Amidst the hustle and bustle of Southampton's roads, there lay a tiny haven of serenity - an island of peace and tranquillity perfumed by the fragrance of roses.

For many years, the area colloquially known as Southampton's Picadilly Circus was home to a Rose Garden and fountain that neighboured Hants and Dorset bus station as well as the Civic Centre.

Unfortunately, due to increasing traffic pressures in the late 1980s, it was decided this rural beauty spot had to be demolished as part of new road schemes.

The Rose Garden was severely impacted on a day that is one of the most celebrated occasions in the city's history; when the Saints arrived home after their momentous victory at Wembley Stadium during the 1976 FA Cup Final.

Thousands of people crowded onto the streets to witness them riding through town atop a double-decker bus. The Rose Garden suffered damage as thousands of people spilt out onto the streets to welcome the team home.

Daily Echo: Southampton's Rose Garden as it was before it was moved.

In search of a replacement for its trampled roses, the Parks Department decided to introduce a new species ironically known as Wembley Stadium.

To mark its replanting in January 1977, the event was attended by Saints manager Lawrie Mcmenemy and players from the FA Cup winning squad.

When the Civic Centre was being built in the 1930s, the borough council had a considerable amount of money to put toward its development. They wanted to use this money to build something special in the Rose Garden and so invited tenders from local companies for their ideas. Eventually, they decided against a bandstand and instead opted for a fountain as it would be more visually appealing.

AE Jukes and Son proposed that the construction and layout of the garden could be completed for £3,930, while WH Rogers and Son quoted a price of £173 to undertake the horticultural work. These were considered to be the two lowest bids for the project.

Southampton's new stunning Rose Garden boasted nearly two thousand plants in 22 beds, as well as 16 trees from various species. A fountain basin was also installed, capable of holding 3,300 gallons of water which is circulated by an electric pump. To top it off, the fountain was illuminated with floodlighting that changed colour.

Daily Echo:

The Daily Echo reported: "The Fountain Gardens were quite a magnet with hundreds of shoppers going out of their way to stroll around it. Opinions varied but most thought it a lovely spot."

During the Second World War the fountain was put out of operation and when peace returned there was a delay of at least two years due to austerity measures which meant, although it was in perfect working order, there were cutbacks in the use of electricity.

In the wake of the Second World War, austerity measures meant that even though the fountain was functioning properly, electricity usage had to be limited. As a result, it stayed out of operation for at least two years after peace was restored.

The Rose Garden disappeared in 1987; however, the fountain which had been an integral part was dismantled and relocated to the outside of the city's art gallery where it still stands to this day.

The fountain made the headlines when, in 1978, a shark was found swimming around in the basin.

Daily Echo:

According to the Echo reports of the time, it was a fairly quiet Saturday lunchtime on the "Echo" Newsdesk when all of a sudden three young men rushed into the front office, disclaiming: "There's a Shark in the fountain at the Rose Gardens!"

The creature was about four and a half foot long and on closer inspection was believed to have been a trope.

However, the unsolved enigma perplexing citizens was how the aquatic creature had gotten into the fountain in the first place.

It was clearly all part of a fun hoax!