About Us

The Fountain Workshop is a team of dedicated designers, artists and engineers. We share a passion for water, and a fascination for how it can enhance, and in many cases completely change an environment. From a beautiful studio and workshop in the historic dockyard of Chatham in Kent, we develop new and exciting ways to work with water. 

We have developed a fresh and innovative approach to water feature design and construction by exploring the interface and blurring the boundaries between aesthetics, design and engineering.

Our central concern is excellence, in both design and execution. We achieve this through close collaboration and open, honest dialogue with our clients, fellow designers and with other specialists.

 

Our Team

The Fountain Workshop was formed in 1996 by David Bracey and Ian Kirkpatrick. The pair have been working with water features, and with each other, for over 30 years. Today they lead a team of talented, creative and dedicated engineers, designers and technicians - all of them passionate about water and the qualities it brings.
Mary Belsom

Mary Belsom

Mary is our office manager. She keeps us running smoothly and is responsible for all aspects of administration and accounts, including payroll. Mary also plays a vital role assisting the directors with strategic decisions and implementing company policy.

Mary’s background is in financial services. She spent seven years at a chartered accounting firm where she qualified as an accounting technician. A stint in Germany was followed by a role as an Account Manager with a design company. From there, she joined The Fountain Workshop and has been with us for 12 years.

When we’re not keeping her busy, Mary is mum to two great kids. She’s interested in the arts and gets to the theatre whenever she can.

 

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David Bracey

David Bracey

David is Director of The Fountain Workshop. He co-founded the company together with Ian Kirkpatrick.

The pair met in 1984 at fountain company, Ustigate. From there they joined Invent Water Treatment, where they set up a successful water features division. Driven by a desire for excellence, the natural next step was their own company, and in 1996 they founded The Fountain Workshop Ltd.

Together, Ian and David have nurtured and grown the business into the respected and successful company it is today.

David’s engineering background has provided a solid platform upon which the company has grown. In 20 years of The Fountain Workshop, David has delivered projects across the globe – from Copenhagen to the Middle East. His highlights are closer to home, and include the world’s tallest gravity-fed fountain at Stanway House and the hugely popular water feature at Granary Square in King’s Cross.

Outside work and family, David’s passion is for music, cricket and what he calls “a worrying interest” in classic and vintage cars.

Contact David

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Andy Brooks

Andy Brooks

Andy is our Design Engineer. One of the key aspects of seeing a project move successfully from concept to completion is effective design – and Andy is instrumental in this. He is involved in overall design development as well as detailed design of the water feature hydraulic and mechanical components.

Andy joined us from Airbus where he worked on finding engineering solutions for fast turnaround repairs. He can also list space craft and missile launch systems in his project portfolio.

In the six years Andy has been with us, he has become father to three children. He loves to get out and about with his wife and kids – a ramble on the North Downs being a favourite activity.

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Sarah Bruce

Sarah Bruce

Sarah oversees the day-to-day running of our maintenance company.

Sarah joined us as an Office Junior in 2007. She soon discovered a passion for accounts and went on to gain her AAT Accounting Qualification. Since then, her role has developed and she now manages the maintenance element of our projects.

As well as keeping our water features looking their best, she assists with accounts and office administration, and is usually the first point of contact for clients and visitors.

Sarah likes to spend her spare time walking her beautiful border collie Bella, and is expecting her first child this year.

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Ben Hampshire

Ben Hampshire

Ben is Director of The Fountain Workshop. He was our first employee, joining us fresh from Durham University in 1996. He is instrumental in every project completed at The Fountain Workshop – planning and managing each commission and making sure they come in on time and budget.

He also has the lead development role for our web-based fountain control system and works with our artist, Mel Chantrey, on our fountain display sequences. In fact, there’s not much Ben isn’t involved in – health and safety, IT, electrical diagnostics, as well as backup and advice for the maintenance department and design team.

Ben studied physics, specialising in astronomy, astrophysics and yes, rocket science. His science background sharpened his analytical skills and gave him an amazing attention to detail – something that he brings to every project.

Outside work, Ben has recently completed an epic 927.8km swim challenge (37,110 lengths of his local pool… equivalent to the distance from Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands!). Drier pursuits include biking, hiking and music – he has over 50 song writing credits to his name although he’s given up gigging for his Hawaiian ukulele.

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Ian Horn

Ian Horn

Ian heads up our Electrical Engineering department. He is involved in all projects that have a design and build element and he designs every piece of control gear and telemetry used in our water features.

Ian’s journey to The Fountain Workshop was anything but straightforward. A long career with the Ministry of Defence saw him working in many different countries and industries. From there he set up in private practice as an electrical controls designer and manufacturer. By happy coincidence, we ended up sharing workspace with Ian. We soon became his most important client, and it was only a matter of time before he came on board.

Weekends are spent fixing up his house. When not busy with that, he and his wife love the theatre and the great outdoors and he’s not averse to finishing up a walk with a pie and a pint in his local pub.

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Ian Kirkpatrick

Ian Kirkpatrick

Ian is Director of The Fountain Workshop. He co-founded the company with his long-standing colleague David Bracey back in 1996. The two share a passion for water and a fascination for how it can completely transform a place. Together they have nurtured and grown the business into the successful and respected company it is today.

Over the years, Ian has delivered hundreds of water features. Bradford City Park stands out as a major achievement – for the transformative effect the project has had on the City of Bradford. His background in fine art means he especially enjoys commissions where he gets the chance to work alongside sculptors and artists.

As well as being the first point of contact for new enquiries and leading new contract negotiations, Ian oversees the company’s administration and financial management. He is particularly proud of the team and of the long-term relationships the company develops with clients and partners.

Ian is huge music fan and attends gigs whenever he can. His grown-up children also keep him busy as well as his interest in literature and writing.

Contact Ian

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Sam Woodberry

Sam Woodberry

Sam is one of our fountain installers and also a mechanical apprentice. Sam joined us as a trainee in 2013, and in 2014 began a City and Guilds diploma in Electrical Installations. We were so impressed with Sam’s achievements and abilities that in 2015 we offered him a formal mechanical apprenticeship which he is sailing through with distinctions. Being one of our younger team members, he has taken to our web-based control systems like a duck to water (pardon the pun!)

 

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Paul Stafford

Paul Stafford

Paul joined us in 2009 as a Fountain Installer on our Northern Team. He plays a key role in all our projects in the north of the UK, and even has the occasional foray down south!

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Kyle Sanders

Kyle Sanders

Kyle is a qualified surveyor and project manager. He is involved in most of our projects once they reach the build stage. On site he is instrumental in ensuring our critical setting-out and levelling tolerances are achieved. He also makes sure that all our work is carried out and managed safely. He produces project-specific risk assessments, method statements and operating and maintenance manuals. Kyle also helps manage our maintenance contracts.

In his spare time, Kyle is a keen body builder and loves to fish. Although he and his partner recently became proud parents, so we suspect he’ll be swapping his fishing rod for a pram for the next while.

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Andy Bowman

Andy Bowman

Andy is a qualified electrician. He joined us in 2007 and shares his time between wiring our control panels, overseeing site installations and making sure our fountains are always operating smoothly.

Andy also runs our electrical apprenticeship scheme and mentors our trainee electricians.

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Matt Tottman

Matt Tottman

Matt is a Fountain Installer. He’s been with us since 2008.

Matt has been involved in many of our landmark projects. As well as being an experienced pipe fitter he also assists with GRP (fibreglass) laminating and has a good knowledge of electrical installation work. He is often the day-to-day contact with the construction teams we work alongside, and he plays a valuable role coordinating and managing site activities.

In his spare time, Matt is keen on yoga and also has a young son to keep him grounded and busy.

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Mark Wratten

Mark Wratten

Mark joined us in 2008 as a Fountain Installer and Fibre Glass Laminator. Having previously worked for one of our suppliers, Mark was already familiar with our work and quickly became a valued member of the team.

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Mel Chantrey

Mel Chantrey

Mel is our artist and is responsible for art direction at The Fountain Workshop. He is also a practising fine artist.

Mel has an honours degree in Fine Art, and spent 25 years lecturing in the Department of Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. During this time, he worked and exhibited extensively throughout the UK and abroad. He is a Turner Prize nominee and has also been awarded the BCSC Gold Award for Manchester Airport and the RIBA Award for the Sky Bar, also in Manchester.

In his creative partnership with The Fountain Workshop, Mel explores the ways in which water can enrich and humanise the built environment.

He works closely with our team, not just at the conceptual design stage, but also during planning and construction – ensuring that the design vision comes to fruition.

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Simon Barnard

Simon Barnard

Simon is a Fountain Installer. He works primarily on our north of England projects with Paul Stafford.

In 2008, he installed the award-winning installation in Copenhagen for Nykredit – the Sky and Krystal. Simon first joined us in 1999, but has taken various breaks over the years to concentrate on his theatrical interests. Simon rejoined us full-time in 2015.

Outside work, Simon is a talented musician. He has also written and produced several musical theatre productions. Simon has been involved with pantomime for years but that is now mainly behind him. Oh no it isn’t. Oh yes it is!!

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Charlie Layton

Charlie Layton

Charlie is one of our younger members of staff. He joined us in 2015 to follow a four-year Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship. Under Andy Bowman’s guidance and mentoring, Charlie has become a valuable member of the electrical department and is doing brilliantly at college. Andy tells us that he makes an acceptable cup of tea as well!

When we excuse Charlie from his studies and fountain building duties, he enjoys making music as a DJ (house music – or racket as we call it) as well as supporting West Ham and playing golf. Keep up the good work Charlie!

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Henry Metcalfe

Henry Metcalfe

Henry is one of our electrical engineering apprentices. He started the programme in 2015, and has achieved an astonishing amount in such a short time. As well as taking on board all the electrical knowledge, he has also enjoyed working alongside Travis Belsom to learn site work from an experienced mechanical pipework installer. Henry is always keen to take on new challenges, and has proven to be a real asset to the team. Well done Henry!

In his spare time Henry is a talented musician. He can play many instruments – including the spoons!

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