Rochester Bridge Trust News Archive 2018

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New sight lines – for views and safety

One of the most popular views of the Old Bridge is from the Rochester Esplanade, overlooking the Georgian balustrade. It’s the place where the majority of photos of the bridges are taken, including selfies with the lions, and where people like to stop and pause. Only people don’t tend to stop and pause for very […]

Centuries old art revealed to the public

Historic wall coverings from the time of Elizabeth I are now on public display. Work to reveal and restore the paintings, which had spent hundreds of years covered by layers… read more →

Ecology survey – results

How much notice do you take of bats? They’re not the most common of wildlife encountered on a day-to-day basis, but many of us are lucky enough to see them emerge at dusk. Of significance for the Rochester Bridge Trust is the knowledge those bats need to live somewhere. In 2017, in preparation for the […]

Medway history brought to life with paper ships

Hundreds of children learned about history and engineering thanks to an educational initiative supported by the Rochester Bridge Trust. During the summer and autumn of 2018, Cabinet of Curiosity received support from the Trust and Chatham Historic Dockyard to run its WW1 Ships on the Medway project. This was a programme of workshop activities that […]

Medieval charity mentors future engineers

The Rochester Bridge Trust is pleased to sponsor a trio of new school pupils considered to be promising engineers of the future. Selected through the Arkwright scheme, the three teenagers… read more →

Memories of the days when St Andrew’s House was a home

The Trust recently had the pleasure of a visit from a former Chapter Clerk of Rochester Cathedral, who shared some of his memories of life in St Andrew’s House. Ted Bates, who took up the post around four decades ago, was the first private resident of what was then called the Old Deanery, taking up […]

Collating the numbers

The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed a few overnight – temporary – additions to our bridges. These are automatic traffic counters and they have been installed to ensure we have as much information as possible about traffic using the bridges before the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project begins in 2019. Comprising pneumatic tubes placed across […]

Working in partnership

While out and about in Rochester you may have noticed people in high visibility clothing working on or around the bridges. It’s highly likely you’ve spotted Peter, Shaun, Jack or… read more →

Popular exhibition crosses the river

A popular exhibition is being relocated, giving people even more opportunity to discover the rich history of one of the country’s oldest charities. The Rochester Bridge Trust has provided and maintained crossings of the River Medway for more than 600 years – with the first bridge on the site built almost 2,000 years ago – […]

Why do Rochester’s bridges need to be refurbished?

Since the Rochester Bridge Trust was formed in 1391, it has had one main responsibility: to provide passage over, under or across the River Medway at Rochester. To meet the absolute minimum for that responsibility, the Trust: Ensures the bridges are in good condition. Keeps the bridges open to traffic. There are any number of […]

Prize for young STEM enthusiast

A promising young science ambassador has been recognised by his school and the Rochester Bridge Trust. Oreoluwa Emmanuel was presented with the Rochester Grammar School STEM Award at the school’s recent prize giving ceremony. The Year 13 pupil received his award from Peter Homewood, Assistant Warden of the Rochester Bridge Trust, which helped found the […]

Measure of success for surveyor

Congratulations to Joanna Blakely, one of the Trust’s professional advisers, who has qualified as a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Jo works as a surveyor for property consultants Savills and has been involved with the management of the Trust’s southern property portfolio since July 2017. A graduate of Harper Adams University, […]

Congratulations to the winners of the Kent Design & Development Awards 2018

Well done to all the winners of the Kent Design & Development Awards, in particular to One Warwick Park, victor of the Conservation category. Sponsored by the Rochester Bridge Trust, the category seeks to reward building projects that show an innovative and sensitive approach to refurbishment, conservation and/or reuse of redundant, threatened or underused buildings […]

Lane restrictions on Rochester’s bridge

Motorists are advised there will be temporary single lane closures on the bridges at Rochester overnight on Thursday, 15th November, to enable essential works to take place. The works are part of a routine cleaning programme and to facilitate the safe installation of the Trust’s Christmas lights. This will be carried out by FM Conway, […]

Commemorating the founders of the Rochester Bridge Trust

The Lord Lieutenant of Kent, a former High Sheriff of Kent and the Mayor of Maidstone were among the guests for a tradition which has roots in medieval times. The… read more →

St Andrew’s House refurbishment complete

A Grade I listed building has been given a new lease of life following a major refurbishment. St Andrew’s House enters a new era as offices for the Rochester Bridge… read more →

River Medway artist identified

The identity of an artist who painted barges on the River Medway has been discovered, thanks to the help of followers on Facebook. In June, the Rochester Bridge Trust asked… read more →

Celebrating museums and heritage

The Rochester Bridge Trust has spent more than six centuries maintaining and restoring historic structures and is pleased to sponsor the Restoration or Conservation category of the Museums + Heritage Awards 2018. Bridge Clerk Sue Threader said: “Founded in 1399, the Trust has a long history of working with historic structures, including its own listed […]

Lifetime contribution award for half a century of service

A civil engineer who has been involved in almost every significant highways scheme in Kent during the last 50 years has been presented with an award. John Farmer, a chartered member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and Major Projects Manager at Kent County Council, was presented with a lifetime contribution to engineering award […]

Generations of engineering celebrated in day of activities

TV star Rob Bell rounded off a packed day of activities hosted by the Rochester Bridge Trust and the Royal Engineers Museum. Organised as part of the national Year of… read more →

Lane restrictions on Rochester’s Old Bridge

Motorists are advised there will be temporary single lane closures on the Old Bridge at Rochester, overnight from the 24th to 28th September, to enable essential works to take place. The works are part of a routine maintenance programme and will be carried out by FM Conway, on behalf of the Rochester Bridge Trust. During […]

Free talk puts the spotlight on life during the First World War

Find out more about real life in the Medway Towns during the First World War during a free talk. Presented as one of the regular free Bridge Wardens’ Lectures held… read more →

Half a century at St Andrew’s House

Continuing our research into the history of St Andrew’s House, we’ve recently glimpsed a little of the history of one of the longest serving Deans of Rochester. In days gone by it was not uncommon for the Dean of a Cathedral to hold the post until their death, which was the case for Robert Stevens, […]

History is an education

It’s not hard to guess that St Andrew’s House – formerly the Old Deanery – was home to the incumbent Dean of Rochester Cathedral, but that’s not the building’s only history. The building stopped being the Dean’s residence in the 1950s, when it was decided the premises were no longer suitable for that purpose and […]

Engineering expert helps create children’s book

Children will soon have another way to be inspired to become engineers, with the publication of a book created with the help of the Chief Executive of the Rochester Bridge Trust. Usborne’s Lift The Flap Engineering introduces inquisitive minds to some of the different strands of engineering, simply explaining the concepts with examples of real-world […]

Material decision is a tight problem

The preparations for our upcoming refurbishment project involve considering lots of different strands of work, one of which relates to Rochester Esplanade. As regular readers will know, the Trust owns the end of Rochester Esplanade nearest the bridges. We are still developing our designs to improve the area opposite the Bridge Chamber, adding benches and […]

Grant lights up pupils’ potential

Children enjoyed a bright end to their school year thanks to a grant from the Rochester Bridge Trust. Maidstone Grammar School for Girls was given £15,000 to reconnect its lighting equipment to the mains electricity, and a delegation from the Trust visited the school to see the kit being put to good use. Russell Cooper, […]

Delving into the history of St Andrew’s House

As we’ve been working to uncover the physical past in our restoration of St Andrew’s House, here at the Trust we have also become more interested in the social past associated in what will soon be our new extended home. One former inhabitant among the long list of Deans of Rochester – this was The […]

Lane restriction on Rochester New Bridge

Motorists are advised there will be a temporary single lane closure on the New Bridge at Rochester, overnight on Friday, 13th July, to enable essential works to take place. The works are part of a routine maintenance programme for the Service Bridge. They will be carried out by FM Conway, on behalf of the Rochester […]

St Andrew’s House renovation work is going well

Work to conserve and renovate The Old Deanery in Rochester Cathedral is going well, with some interesting features being revealed. The Old Deanery, which will now be known as St Andrew’s… read more →

Celebrating the conservation of Kent’s architectural heritage

The conservation of Kent’s architectural heritage is to be celebrated as part of the Kent Design & Development Awards 2018. The Rochester Bridge Trust is pleased to again sponsor the awards’ Conservation category, which seeks to reward building projects that show an innovative and sensitive approach to refurbishment, conservation, and/or reuse of once redundant, threatened […]

Mission: Bridge demolition training

The Royal Engineers have successfully carried out an overnight exercise in Rochester. Named Exercise Bridge Dem and run by the Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME), the mission was to… read more →

Free talk celebrates 200 years of engineering heritage

Find out more about some of Kent and East Sussex’s most remarkable engineering structures in a free talk. This year is the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Institution of Civil Engineers. To celebrate, the ICE has profiled 200 of the stand-out engineering achievements of the last two centuries, many of which are in […]

Lane restrictions on Rochester Old Bridge

Motorists are advised there will be a temporary single lane closure on the Old Bridge at Rochester, overnight on Tuesday, 5th June, to enable essential works to take place. The works are part of a routine maintenance programme, including the cleaning of expansion joints and road gullies. This will be carried out by FM Conway, […]

Thank you gift in recognition of dedication

Two former Senior Wardens of the Rochester Bridge Trust have received a token of appreciation in recognition of their voluntary service. John Spence and Richard Thornby were presented with lapel badges made by specialist jeweller Thomas Fattorini Ltd during a recent meeting of the Court of Wardens and Assistants. The Senior Warden is usually appointed […]

Medieval charity joins forces with university

One of the country’s oldest charities has teamed up with a university for the mutual benefit of students and engineers. Professor Amir Alani has been appointed the Rochester Bridge Trust Professor in Engineering at the University of West London. A chartered engineer, Prof Alani has more than 24 years’ experience in the higher education sector. […]

Repairs to Rochester Esplanade

A small area of ground has collapsed in a flower bed on Rochester Esplanade. A team of engineers, including Term Maintenance Contractor FM Conway and Bridge Engineer Arcadis, is carrying out investigations and monitoring the site. This will lead to some minor disruption to the parking bays on the Esplanade, while machinery is required. Tim […]

Esplanade investigations – the castle water gate

We’ve already given you the background to the castle water gate, but what exactly have we found and how long has it been there? Investigations are ongoing, but we believe… read more →

Popular talk to reveal history of bridge works

Due to popular demand, members of the public can find out more about a medieval manuscript’s impact on today’s world when a free talk is given a re-run. The lecture was previously presented in January, when more than 100 people attended to find out more about the Bridgeworks List’s important role in the history of […]

Esplanade investigations – what was found

Thank you for your patience while we carried out investigations on the Esplanade. As you will have noticed, the hoarding has now been partially taken down. This is because the… read more →

Soldiers to simulate bridge demolition at Rochester

The Army is returning to Rochester Bridge with an overnight simulation of a demolition exercise. After the success of a previous training exercise in September, the Royal School of Military… read more →

Grant helps uncover hidden art

A donation to a Friends’ group is helping to reveal art that has been hidden for centuries. Found on the upper floors of Eastgate House, the art is a selection… read more →

Token of appreciation for Senior Wardens

Voluntary service of the highest level has been recognised with a formal presentation to former Senior Wardens of the Rochester Bridge Trust. The Senior Warden heads the Court of Wardens and Assistants, the organisation’s board of 12 trustees. Senior Wardens are usually appointed for a two-year term and the post has been held continuously since […]

Learn about the Roman engineers who shaped our world

Find out more about the engineers who, almost 2,000 years ago, were responsible for building the first bridge at Rochester. A free talk by award-winning author Dr Simon Elliott will explain how the engineers of the Roman Army were responsible for the creation of an immense infrastructure network, which can still be traced in today’s […]

Bridge Works exhibition is extended

An exhibition telling the 2,000-year story of Rochester’s bridges and the 600-year-old organisation which now owns and maintains them has been given an extended run, thanks to the popularity of… read more →

A Tribute: Dr James M. Gibson, Bridge Archivist

By Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk Dr James M. Gibson, who died at the age of 70, packed much into his 42-year career. He started out as an academic, carried out much important original research, and went on to become an accomplished historian and archivist for some of the oldest organisations in his adopted home county […]

Victorian window restored with help from the Rochester Bridge Trust

A Victorian church window has been restored and rededicated, with financial help from the Rochester Bridge Trust. The newly-named Diamond Memorial Window in St Martin of Tours at Detling was officially dedicated at a special service on Sunday, 11th March. Among the attendees were the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle and Viscountess De […]

New bursary scheme for agriculture students

Prospective university students could find their studies given a financial boost, thanks to a new bursary scheme. The Rochester Bridge Trust Spence Agricultural Scholarship will grant the recipient £1,500 a year for three or four consecutive years, when studying at the University of Nottingham. The scholarship has been launched in recognition of the work of […]

Rochester bridge refurbishment 2018, advance notice

The Rochester Bridge Trust is preparing to carry out a major refurbishment of Rochester’s bridges, and this blog post is to introduce you to the project, to reassure you and to ask for your patience. The refurbishment will include work on the 104-year-old Old Bridge, the New Bridge and the Service Bridge in between the […]

Congratulations to the finalists of the Education Resources Awards 2018

As the bridge builders of tomorrow, children are very important to the Rochester Bridge Trust, and so it is with great pleasure that we are supporting the Education Resources Awards for the third year running. While all ages need encouraging and supporting, we believe reaching out to primary-aged children is of the utmost importance, because […]

Small grant helps children to learn about bridges

One of the first schools to receive a Rochester Bridge Trust education small grant has now begun teaching children about bridges. Thanks to the money, 30 pupils at St Helen’s Church of England Primary School, Cliffe, are getting to grips with the challenges of practical bridge building. More than £230 was given to the school […]

Lane restrictions on Rochester’s bridges

Motorists are advised there will be temporary single lane closures on the bridges at Rochester, and at the end of the Esplanade, overnight on Wednesday, 24th January, to enable essential works to take place. The works are part of a routine cleaning programme, which has been timed to coincide with a programme of pothole repairs […]

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