Sadly, the glass sign put up at the entrance to Pip’s Park was badly damaged – possibly by vandals – but a new, sturdy stainless steel sign is in place, complete with the poem that appeared on the original.
The new sign was designed, made and fitted by Will Shakspeare, of Shakspeare Glass who had created the original sign.
Pip’s Park – named in honour of the late Pip Youngman – is the riverside park that provides welcome communal space for new flats and the offices at the Firepool site. It is one of a network of green spaces throughout Taunton – the South West’s first Garden Town.
It’s proving popular with staff at the Viridor offices and residents of the newly-built apartments as it provides space to walk the dog, to meet or simply to sit and enjoy.
The poem that features on the sign at the park’s entrance was written by Pip Youngman who was not just a poet but a noted inventor as well as one of Taunton’s greatest champions.
He inspired one of Taunton’s more unusual waterside walks, the Space Walk, along the Bridgwater-Taunton Canal which still gives walkers huge enjoyment.
It is a true scale model of the solar system running along the canal, centred on the sun at Maunsel Lock. The walk uses the 14-mile towpath to display a model of the sun and its planets in their proportionally correct sizes and distances apart. He used the scale of 530 million to one to give an idea of the vast distances between planets.
Unusually for a solar system model, there are two sets of planets with the sun at the centre, allowing walkers to follow the trail from Pluto, near The Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton, to the sun encountering planets along the way. The “other” Pluto is in Bridgwater.
He was also a staunch supporter plans to regenerate and revitalise the town centre bringing the river and waterways back into focus.
Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, Councillor John Williams, said: “I am delighted to see that sign back in place at Pip’s Park. Pip Youngman was inspirational and shared our vision to regenerate the town and put the river back at the heart of Taunton.”