As part of the preparations for the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project we are working on improvements to the heritage lighting on the Old Bridge, Strood Esplanade and Rochester Esplanade.
We’ve already introduced the two main contractors for this, but what exactly are we doing and why is it important?
Have you ever actually looked at one of the lighting columns on the Old Bridge or Esplanade, we mean really looked? We are sure you – like many of the travelling public – are generally just glad there are lights that work and keep us moving and safe (this wasn’t always the case) but if you look properly you’ll see there’s more to the lights than light.
The Old Bridge was created at a time when people really enjoyed adding lots of extra bits of detail, resulting in a very striking bridge while also creating a present-day challenge. That challenge is to make sure all those little details are treated with care, repaired with the craftsmanship they deserve, or replicated using the most traditional methods possible.
So what kind of detail are we talking about? Firstly fruit! Grapes and more adorn our lighting columns, along with their associated foliage. Rosettes and painted contouring also adorn the columns, plus let’s not forget the scrolls and gold leaf detail – and that is just on the Esplanade.
On the Old Bridge the lamp columns achieve an even grander scale, with rams heads, proud lions with coats of arms and crowns, and flowers for the final flourish.
Our contractors are repairing and restoring all of these items, as well as manufacturing new lanterns which include all of the ornate items above and incorporate up-to-date technology with LEDs and a control management system.