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Honour for dogs' watering hole

PUBLISHED: 18:12 21 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 March 2010

THE author of one of the most famous animal stories ever told is to be honoured at a drinking fountain where her fictional Dalmatian dogs quenched their thirst.

THE author of one of the most famous animal stories ever told is to be honoured at a drinking fountain where her fictional Dalmatian dogs quenched their thirst.

Plans are being made to unveil a plaque where heroes Pongo, Pedita and friends paused to drink after crossing the Essex border to find the place in Suffolk where Cruella De Vil was holed up.

The dogs had come from London, seeking to rescue 15 pups that the wicked fashion designer had captured in order to use their skins to make a fur coat.

Dodie Smith, who died at the age of 94 in 1990, lived in the north Essex village of Finchingfield for many years and wrote the story of One Hundred and One Dalmatians in 1956.

Miss Smith, who shopped regularly in Sudbury, often bringing her own Dalmatians with her, referred to the town and surrounding countryside in her original story.

At that time there was no water flowing into the drinking trough outside the St Peter's church in the town and part of the fountain structure has now disappeared but it is still used to hold flowers.

The author, one of the supporters of the successful campaign to save the Sudbury's former Corn Exchange for a library, decided to use the setting in her story.

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