Restoration gives new life to Parkes' historic Cooke Park gates

The ornamental gates in Cooke Park have been given a new lease on life following a complete restoration.

A statement released by Parkes Shire Council said its Heritage Advisor, David Scobie worked with contractors GC McCabe and Co to restore the iconic gates back to near original condition.

According to the statement Chair of the Parkes Shire Heritage Advisory Committee, Councillor Alan Ward said the Parkes Region has a proud and colourful history.

“We are delighted to have preserved this piece of history for our community to enjoy in years to come,” he said.

Restoration of the Venables Gates involved the repointing of brickwork, replacement of damaged lights and commemorative plaques, repainting of the ironwork and drainage improvements.

“It was through this restoration work that the original brass lettering on the gates was discovered, that had previously been painted over,” Cr Ward.

The gates were made in 1886 by Richard Venables and were originally located at The Australian Hall on Peisley Street in Orange, the statement read. 

In the 1920's The Hall was remodelled and the gates were removed and subsequently sold back to Mr Venables at auction, who was now a resident of Parkes.

Mr Venables donated the gates to the Municipal Council and was contracted to build the side gates to match the central pair.

The gates were officially opened on November 18, 1928 as part of the Cooke Park extension, which included the construction of the fountain and pond, garden beds and paths, as well as landscaping, the statement said.