Our plans to upgrade the ornate lighting on the Old Bridge have been touched upon already, and now we are able to introduce the specialist lighting firm we have contracted.
Metcraft Lighting is a Manchester-based company known for focusing on specialist projects that combine heritage style with new LED technology and lighting management systems. One of their previous projects was the refurbishment of the historic lighting on Westminster Bridge.
They have been contracted to manufacture all the lighting equipment for the Old Bridge, Strood Esplanade and Rochester Esplanade; which was designed by Arcadis and DW Windsor. The lighting equipment will be installed in phases as part of the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project. In addition to the lanterns themselves, Metcraft will supply numerous cast iron lighting columns, pedestals and brackets.
Metcraft’s work began in the autumn of 2018, when they collected examples of existing lanterns, brackets, and a pedestal, along with the previously created prototypes. These will inform the production of new prototypes for technical approval and to ensure they comply with a previously granted Listed Building Consent which is required because the Old Bridge has a Grade II Listing. Once approval is granted, Metcraft will manufacture approximately 70 lanterns and 30 fixtures.
It’s worth noting the lanterns will have an IP65 dust and water ingress protection rating. This rating classifies the degree of protection from intrusion from particles such as dust, and liquids such as rain. This should ensure the longevity of the lanterns and reduce the maintenance needed.
We’ve already told you about previous investigations regarding the original lighting prototypes and the colour of light, and we don’t want to give too much away just yet, but you may be interested to know that as part of this project we are reviewing the specifications in order to best mimic the original 1914 designs.
We will be visiting Metcraft’s facility throughout the project, with our first trip to Manchester having taken place in July 2018, during the tender process. This was a good opportunity to view their work and assess the company’s understanding of the project. It also demonstrated their processes, experience and enthusiasm for the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project. The photographs accompanying this article are from that visit and show work for other organisations.