The Rochester Bridge Trust Staff

Find out more about the staff of the Rochester Bridge Trust.

SUE THREADER, B.Eng. HonDSc. C.Eng. F.I.C.E., BRIDGE CLERK (Chief Executive)

Sue Threader is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. After graduating with a B.Eng. in Civil and Structural Engineering from the University of Sheffield in 1988. She worked for several local authorities as a civil engineer and transportation planner before joining the international engineering consultancy, WSP Group plc, in 1998 as a Technical Director.

Moving back to the public sector in 2001, Sue held the post of Deputy Chief Executive and firstly Director of Services, then Director of Resources, for a district council in Surrey. Her elder son, Ben, was born in 2004 and, after returning to her previous post for 6 months, she then worked as a freelance management consultant specialising in procurement and public sector trouble-shooting. She was appointed as the Bridge Clerk (Chief Executive) of the Rochester Bridge Trust in January 2006.

Apart from working for the Trust three days a week, Sue regularly gives talks on civil engineering or the work of the Trust to technical audiences, schools and interested groups and has written a book on bridge building for primary schools. She is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Engineers and a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Archives Panel. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of science by the University of West London and an Outstanding Contribution Award from the ICE in recognition of her work to promote civil engineering to young people.

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PAULA PUXTY, CHIEF FINANCE OFFICER

Paula Puxty is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Paula graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury with a First Class BA Honours degree in Geography. She then trained as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, gaining her ACA qualification in 2001.

In her role as Chief Finance Officer, Paula has responsibility for Finance; Human Resources; Insurance & Risk; ICT; and the management and reporting of Health & Safety.

Paula first worked for the Trust in 2014 covering maternity leave, re-joining in 2016. Having worked as an auditor and accountant in a variety of industries, Paula previously gained valuable charity experience at Chatham Maritime Trust, where she held the post of Finance Manager.

She enjoys spending her spare time with her family and friends, heading out for walks in the countryside with the family’s two dogs and going away on holiday.

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TIM CATHCART, CHIEF ESTATES OFFICER

Responsible for the management of the Trust’s property portfolio, Tim Cathcart brings two decades of property experience to the role of Chief Estates Officer.

Having previously managed the estates for a number of charity clients during his ten years at Savills, Tim already had a good working relationship with the Trust. He is enjoying building on this and learning more about the history of the properties, some of which were part of the original 14th and 15th century endowments. Tim also oversees the archives and the grants programme.

A qualified Chartered Surveyor MRICS and RICS Registered Valuer, Tim has a degree in Land Management from the University of Reading. In his spare time he collects vintage tractors, particularly those with a Kent connection. He is also an enthusiastic amateur church organist, a member of the Lord Lieutenant’s Rural Advisory Group, and enjoys spending time with his family.

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JIM BOOTH, BRIDGE MANAGER

Jim, a chartered structural engineer, joined the Trust in December 2020, having been part of the wider team at Bridge Engineer Arcadis since early 2013.

He is responsible for the administration of the Term Maintenance Contract (TMC) which ensures the bridges are kept in a safe and operable condition on a day-to-day basis. This includes making sure the structures are kept clean and tidy, and that disruption to the travelling public is kept to a minimum. Jim’s work runs parallel to the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project.

Having studied for a degree at Thames Polytechnic, now the University of Greenwich, Jim originally developed an interest in civil engineering because of his (continuing) interest in finding out how things work, usually by taking them apart!

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ALISON CABLE, ARCHIVES AND RECORDS MANAGER

Alison Cable qualified as an archivist in 1991, after gaining a BA in art history. She has since managed a range of institutions, including East Kent Archives Centre and the Medway Archives Centre.

Her role involves looking after the Trust’s historic documents as well as planning for the future by ensuring the current filing systems are managed efficiently. Record management is vital for the day-to-day running of an organisation and to ensure the easy identification and access of permanent archives.

The Trust has a wealth of records and Alison’s aim is to make more material available digitally and to raise the profile of this 600-year-old collection. She also maintains the estate files, keeps up-to-date with current legislation for managing records and takes responsibility for the storage and retrieval of documents. On a personal note Alison is enjoying increasing her knowledge of the history of the Trust

In her spare time Alison is interested in history and modern art. She also spends a fair bit of time in the garden.

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KATE CASTLE, BRIDGE PROGRAMME MANAGER

Kate joined the Trust in December 2020, having been part of the wider team at Bridge Engineer Arcadis since early 2013.

From an early age, she knew she wanted to work in engineering to make practical use of her love of physics and maths. She says she was lucky enough to do an A-Level in design and technology (technology), which gave her an unusually wide introduction to electronic, structural and mechanical engineering – she particularly enjoyed drawing bending moment diagrams by hand. This was followed by a degree in civil engineering at the University of Surrey.

Kate’s background is in traffic and road safety engineering, and over the course of her career she has developed her project management skills, which is of particular importance for the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project.

In her spare time Kate has a number of hobbies, including taking her family blue plaque hunting.

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CAROLINE CHISHOLM, EDUCATION MANAGER

Caroline became an Education Officer at the Trust in January 2017. She has a biochemistry degree and a PGCE, but left teaching after more than a decade to spend time with her children. Caroline also runs Bioactive Learning which provides support and runs STEM clubs for home-educated children and primary schools.

In her free time, Caroline enjoys spending time with her two children, training for a half marathon – which earns her chocolate-eating rights – and acting as an adult instructor with a school Combined Cadet Force that has links with the Royal Engineers.

Caroline believes it is vital for children to be engaged in good, fun, science education from an early age and enjoys widening their experiences, broadening their horizons and improving their opportunities.

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JANE DOWN, FINANCE MANAGER

Starting her career as a Payroll Clerk, Jane Down trained as an ACCA-qualified accountant and worked her way through the ranks in the telecommunications industry. This provided her with valuable experience in all areas of accounting, including group management accounting and cashflow forecasting. A move to the family business in the construction industry gave Jane further experience in accounting and administration, while also looking after her young children.

When not at work Jane enjoys spending time with her family, including two sons and a cat called Max.

Jane joined the Trust in 2016 and her role involves keeping the day-to-day accounting records up-to-date as well as looking after payroll, VAT, quarterly accounts preparation and generally assisting the Chief Finance Officer with all areas of finance.

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ANDREW FREEMAN, OPERATIONS MANAGER

The new role of Operations Manager was established when Andrew joined the Trust in August 2017.

Previously manager of Rochester’s Guildhall Museum and Visitor Centre, Andrew already has experience of working in the historic community. This, combined with his previous work in industrial modelmaking, advertising and architecture, mean he was ideally placed to take on this post combining building and office management with the overseeing of external projects. Andrew also manages grants and provides support to funding recipients.

In his spare time Andrew enjoys exploring places of historical interest with his wife, gardening, and supporting his father’s passion for classic cars. He also offers voluntary technical support to the museum.

Andrew is particularly keen to use his position to explore new connections for the Trust and to help worthy causes achieve their aims.

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CLAIRE SAUNDERS, EDUCATION OFFICER

A graduate of Imperial College London and a specialist in molecular microbiology, Claire worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and St George’s Hospital Medical School, before training as a science teacher.

Having spent 11 years as a science teacher, becoming a subject leader in the latter half of this, Claire set up her own company, Sci Clone Education, working as an education consultant offering teacher training and working at STEM outreach events for charities, including the Trust. She took up the post of Education Officer in September 2018.

Claire seeks to deliver high quality education to young people, nurturing their curiosity about the world around them. In her current role she is keen to engage children in STEM subjects, raise their aspirations and help to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers.

In her spare time Claire is working towards her black belt in kickboxing. She’s also kept busy by her young daughter’s social life, taking her to dance lessons, karate, swimming and music groups.

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HELEN WARNE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S ASSISTANT

Helen Warne had the benefit of more than 20 years’ experience as an executive assistant and/or secretary when she joined the Trust in late 2016. For the past six years having worked in a private capacity. Her role involves acting as Secretary to the Chief Executive and supporting all aspects of the Trust’s work.

Helen spends her free time with her husband and two children – a daughter and son who take part in a great many clubs and activities! The rest of her time is spent meeting up with friends and enjoying holidays.

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VIVIEN HOOD, BRIDGE CHAMBER KEEPER

Vivien has worked as a travel consultant for Lunn Poly, an office administrator with the Security Service MI5, a duty manager and receptionist for Virgin Leisure, and more recently as the reception co-ordinator for BACTEC International.

Vivien joined the Rochester Bridge Trust in May 2013 and now ensures the smooth running of the Bridge Chamber, as well as setting up for meetings, supervising special functions, greeting visitors, and cleaning the historic fabric and furnishings.

When not at work Vivien enjoys swimming, reading, and travelling. Holidays usually include a European city break and attending scout camp with her husband, a leader of the 30th Strood (Cuxton) Scouts.

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ERIC CLIVE, GARDENER AND RETIRED BRIDGE CARETAKER

Having taken early retirement from National Power, where he was Production Foreman, Eric Clive joined the Rochester Bridge Trust in March 1995 as Bridge Chamber Caretaker.

Two years later he was also employed as part-time Assistant Bridge Caretaker, and in August 1998 he succeeded to the post of Bridge Caretaker.

Now retired from the Trust, he continues to look after the Bridge Chamber and Esplanade gardens. His passion is home improvement, and he always has a project on the go.