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New Festive Bridge Displays Light up Christmas

A stunning display of more than 4,500 new blue and white Christmas lights is adding to the festive spirit for thousands of people crossing the River Medway at Rochester.

Rochester Bridge Trust, which has provided bridges across the Medway at no cost to the public since the late 14th century, has installed new lighting this year to celebrate the season.

The Trust worked closely with Aylesford-based Gala Lights to design the displays taking advantage of LED pea-lights to reduce dramatically the electricity consumption and carbon footprint of the festive decorations.

Mick Wood, General Manager at Gala Lights, said: “The structures of both the Old and the New Bridge across the Medway between Rochester and Strood are major thoroughfares and landmarks that can be seen for miles. The Trust was keen to adopt more environmentally friendly LED pea-lights and to create an impressive display for everyone using the bridge. The interesting architecture of both bridges was perfect for a new LED ‘Branch’ – an innovative product which is best described as a ‘pipe cleaner of lights’. And the recently refurbished Old Bridge is ideal for displaying the new LED ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Rochester Bridge Trust’ signs.

Gala Lights, which has offices in Quarry Wood, Aylesford, and Fife in Scotland, is one of the UK’s major providers of festive illuminations, providing lighting displays around the world for major organisations, local authorities and individual property owners, including Leeds Castle near Maidstone, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, and the Christmas lights on both Oxford Street and Regents Street.

Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk for the Trust, said: “The new decorations are very impressive, and we are delighted with the results – not least as we have been able to move forward and take advantage of LED and the many environmental benefits that technology brings.”


The Rochester Bridge Trust was founded in 1399 and is the only surviving independent bridge trust that still serves its original purpose. The Trust owns and maintains the road and service bridges over the Medway at Rochester and has contributed to the cost of many other Medway crossings over the centuries. It makes charitable grants and supports other charitable and educational projects in Kent.

The Trust’s income derives from 14th- and 15th-century endowments, and assets are carefully managed to provide funds for bridge maintenance and future replacement as well as charitable activities. It provides its services entirely free to the public. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.

For further information please contact The Bridge Clerk on 01634 846706 / 843457.

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