In 1910 the Bridge Wardens began the reconstruction of Rochester Bridge, raising the roadway and suspending it from overhead bowstring trusses rather than supporting it on arches below. In 1914 after four years of road closures and expenditure of £95,887, the bridge reconstruction was complete. As part of the centenary celebrations to mark this event, the Rochester Bridge Trust is organising a series of free illustrated public lectures.
|Removing Old Cast Iron Ribs from Centre Arch
Ceremony of the Re-opening of Rochester Bridge
after Reconstruction by the Countess of Darnley
14th May 1914
- 10th April 2014, 7.00 pm
“Reconstructing Rochester Bridge”, William Day (Hyder Consulting Ltd)
This lecture will start with a brief review of the bridges at Rochester up until the time of the refurbishment of the Old Bridge in 1914 and consider the problems that had arisen with Cubitt’s cast iron arch bridge of 1856. The development of the new design will be discussed, and the changes in the structural form will be illustrated by the use of a model. William Day is a chartered engineer with over 30 years’ experience in historic structures.
- 8th May 2014, 7.00 pm
“I declare this bridge open – the story of the opening ceremony”, Sue Threader
This lecture will examine the events of 14th May 1914 when the reconstructed Old Bridge was formally opened by Lady Darnley. By reference to documents and photographs from the Trust’s archives, examination of the details of the opening ceremony will give a fascinating insight into the attitudes and society of the day. Refreshments for this event will include tea/coffee and slices of gateau based on the celebration cake which was served at the luncheon in 1914. Sue Threader is Bridge Clerk to the Rochester Bridge Trust.
All lectures will be held in the Bridge Chapel. Places are on a first come basis and are limited to 40 people. To book a seat, please contact Sue O’Reilly by email or on 01892 513033.
Other centenary events include an exhibition of photographs, which will open at the Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham on 20 January 2014; an exciting new resource pack for primary schools that will assist teachers of Key Stage 2 to run workshops and after-school clubs for their pupils about bridge building; and an art and design competition for secondary schools – “Designing the Future” – which will culminate in a public exhibition in June 2014 in partnership with the Historic Dockyard, Chatham.