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Schools Rise to Bridge Building Challenge

Young engineers from Luton Junior School, Chatham, took top honours at the annual bridge building competition sponsored by the Rochester Bridge Trust and held at the Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham.

Pupils from Riverview Junior School, Gravesend, took second place, and Byron Primary School, Gillingham, were third.

The five-strong school teams were treated to a day of activities at the museum including tours of the galleries and talks about different styles of bridge building before putting their own skills to the test.

All three teams succeeded in building bridges, out of cardboard and string, which could bear a load in excess of 15Kg. Russell Race, Senior Warden of the Rochester Bridge Trust, presented the winners with awards for their schools to buy science and engineering equipment.

Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk for the Trust, said: “It was a particularly close contest this year which called on the judges to evaluate the design and building of the bridges as well as their load bearing capacity. The competition was great fun, and clearly the pupils had taken on board a lot of the information about bridge engineering during their morning of workshops and talks. Their success was dependent not only on knowledge but also on their ability to share ideas and work constructively as a team.”

“The Rochester Bridge Trust is pleased to support projects which inspire our young people to find out more about engineering and may encourage them to train as our bridge builders of the future.”

Nine schools took part in this year’s competition, which was held during National Science and Engineering Week. The other schools taking part in the competition, which is also backed by The Madeline Mabey Trust, were Riverside Primary School, Rainham; Benedict House Preparatory School, Sidcup; Wouldham All Saints Primary School; St Mary’s Island Primary School, Chatham; Queenborough School; and Allington Primary School, Maidstone.


1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.

2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.

For more information:

The Rochester Bridge Trust
5 Esplanade
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125

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