Mary Baily 1868 - 1928

Mary Baily

Mary Baily 150 150 Frome Heritage Museum

Born in Frome in 1868, Mary Baily gifted the playing fields now named after her in her Will as a recreation ground for the children of Frome. 

Mary Baily’s father Alfred and his brother founded the E Baily and Son Ltd, the malting business based at Frome station. Tragically in 1910 Alfred died in a fire at North Hill Cottage, the family home. This resulted in his estate being divided between Mary and her sister.

Being an unmarried daughter of a wealthy family Mary didn’t need employment but kept a connection with the family firm as a director. She also became involved in the voluntary works of both the church and civic life of the town. She was a Governor of the County School and amongst the charities she supported was Victoria Hospital, the Industrial Welfare Centre and the Red Triangle club which was a sports club house and subsequently a youth club. It was based on the field that she donated to the town for the school children of Frome which is now named after her. 

In 1921 Mary was appointed as a Justice of the Peace becoming the first and only woman on the Frome Bench. 

Mary was involved throughout her life with St John’s church. She donated money to enhance the building,  such as stained glass windows dedicated to her parents and contributing to the cost of installing electric lighting. Being a gifted embroiderer many items for the church were sewn by her. Mary was elected to the Board of Guardians of the church and became the Vice Chairman. Mary died in 1928 and is buried in the churchyard of St Johns with her father.