Centuries of engineering pedigree have seen the Rochester Bridge Trust shortlisted for a 2014 Charity of the Year award.
Tasked with maintaining historic road and service bridges since 1399, The Rochester Bridge Trust has utilised the expertise of a long list of illustrious engineers, including John Rennie, Thomas Telford, Sir William Cubitt, and Cecil Howard Humphreys. Today the Trust owns and maintains three bridges across the River Medway in Kent.
The only surviving bridge trust which is completely independent of local government and still serving its original purpose, the Trust has now been nominated in the 15th annual Charity Times Awards.
Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk and Chief Executive, said: “We are very pleased to be shortlisted for Charity of the Year, as recognition of the Trust’s efforts to maintain river crossings for the public and also to advance education in engineering.”
Bridge maintenance is based on detailed inspection with interventions aimed at maximising life whilst minimising disruption to travel. The Old Bridge is listed and special care is taken to manage the iconic structure and respect its importance to Rochester.
The Trust founded the first higher education institution in the Medway Towns – the Bridge Wardens’ College – and endowed the Bridge Wardens Chair of Bridge and Tunnel Engineering at the University of Greenwich. It provides grants and scholarships to secondary schools and runs events and develops education resources for primary schools. The Trust’s work in this field has been recognised by an award from the Institution of Civil Engineers South East Region.
Mrs Threader, a chartered civil engineer, added: “This year is the centenary of the reconstruction of Rochester Old Bridge, which has given us a great opportunity to reach out to the local community with a series of open days, lectures, and an exhibition at the Royal Engineers’ Museum.”
With funds derived solely from 14th-century donations, the Trust offers its services to the public for free, relying on investments and long-term spending plans to ensure sufficient funds are available for maintenance and refurbishment.
The Trust has been shortlisted in the category for charities with an income of £1million to £5million. The winners will be announced at an awards gala dinner on 22nd October.
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
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125