Despite having an extensive archive containing hundreds of years of documents relating to bridge maintenance and construction, there are still one or two minor things we don’t know about the bridges.
These are all incidental details that don’t have any impact on the general safety of the bridges, but they are things we would like to know. For instance, we have plans for a sign outside the former public toilets on the Esplanade, but no evidence it was ever actually made.
Another thing we require more information about is the ornamental light fittings on the porticoes. As you’ll all be aware, these are very striking features on the Old Bridge, and as part of the structure’s Grade-II listing we need to be able to repair or replace them should damage ever occur.
For that reason, some of you may have noticed one of the light fittings is missing at the Strood end of the bridge.
This has been removed for detailed forensic investigation and pattern making – essentially to find out as much as possible about it to enable replacements or support any other works that may be required to the fittings.