Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust: Hawkshaw and Barlow Untold
Size of grant awarded: £24,631
About the project
The Clifton Suspension Bridge was Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s first engineering project, due to money issues Brunel was unable to complete the bridge. Many people do not know that our history makers, Sir John Hawkshaw and William Henry Barlow, completed the Bridge as a memorial to Brunel after his death.
The funding has paid for two permanent interpretation panels to be added to the CSB Visitor Centre. The panels contain information about significant changes Hawkshaw and Barlow made to the bridge design, which has ensured the strength of the bridge to carry modern traffic. To demonstrate their great impact on Victorian engineering we have shown the major worldwide engineering projects they have achieved and their engineering collaborations. To truly build a full picture of both engineers we also explored their family and social lives. The panels are accompanied by tactile objects and a touch screen full of further information.
How has the AIM Biffa Award funding positively impacted?
The aim of the project was to raise public awareness of the lives and achievements of Hawkshaw and Barlow. Through consultation we have witnessed adult groups and schools learning new information about our history makers and endeavouring to pass his information onwards. In the future we will be using the interpretation boards and the touch screen to assist with educational workshops and tours, this will further accomplish our goal. The project has expanded our volunteer team, we recruited new specialised volunteers just for this project, such as Mel our very first Micro-Volunteer and Qing our volunteer illustrator.
“Without the AIM Biffa Award History Makers funding we would not have been able to tell the full story of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The new exhibition panels will not only be read by local and international visitors, we will adopt the information into our education programme and guided tours. It is very exciting for us to be able to display this new information and we look forward to the reaction from our visitors.” Kat Tudor, Community, Learning and Volunteer Officer and Project Manager- Hawkshaw and Barlow Untold
“I’ve really enjoyed the experience and found it rewarding. I’ve enjoyed learning about the history of the bridge, finding some interesting articles for the display, using my brain for a change and meeting a good group of people – I went to one meeting and a social event, so although I was volunteering from a distance I felt part of something. I hope my relationship with the bridge team continues.” Melanie King, Micro Volunteer Hawkshaw and Barlow Researcher