29th November 2020

Taunton’s iconic Vivary Park gates repaired by local businessman free of charge

The Mayor of Taunton, Cllr Fran Smith, has given a personal thank you on behalf of the town to a local businessman who repaired the iconic Vivary Park gates free of charge.

Jason Bailey of Montaz Engineering Solutions Ltd responded to an emergency call out from Somerset West and Taunton Council’s open spaces team after the cast iron gates were damaged overnight in February.

Several pieces of the historic gates were found scattered on the ground when staff arrived to open them early on the Sunday morning.

Mr Bailey, whose Taunton-based firm carries out work on the council’s commercial vehicles, arrived to collect the broken pieces and take them to the workshop at Bishop’s Hull.

Experienced welder Rob Brookes-Wait carefully restored them and made a replacement part for one piece that was missing.

He then worked on site at Vivary Park to fix the restored section into place.

The work was completed within four days.

Mr Bailey wrote to Somerset West and Taunton Council saying that despite being instructed to undertake this work at the usual rate he intended to make no charge and to offer the repair as a gift.

He said:

“It was especially important for me to be able to support the council and restore these gates for the people of Taunton.

They are probably one of the most recognisable structures in the town leading the way to one of the best loved, well-used parks.

My company has made charity donations to many local good causes over the years.

I feel it’s important as a local business to put something back into the community so as soon as we were asked to carry out this work I’d made up my mind to do it for free.”

Mr Bailey and his wife Sharon, who also works for the family company which employs 10 staff, were invited to Deane House for a civic reception with the Mayor.

Cllr Smith said:

“I wanted to personally thank you on behalf of the people of Taunton for your generosity.

The craftsmanship is superb and you can see the pride that has been taken in this work.

The gesture is very much appreciated.

I hope it will help people to recognise the calibre of some of our local businesses, the quality of their work and the pride they have in our community and county town.”