Brunel Swivel BridgeBrunel's Other Bridge

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Brunel Swivel Bridge Project 2023

Volunteer Workdays

Workdays for 2023 as follows:

Planned for the 3rd or 4th SATURDAY each month, but check the website for late changes. We start at 9.30am, and provide free tea and coffee, so why not bring a picnic lunch BRUNEL SWIVEL BRIDGE, CUMBERLAND BASIN, Bristol BS1 6XS Come and help out or just join in and enjoy yourself. Watch this website for further details.

Sounds like fun? No experience needed, all equipment provided, and you'll get really involved in helping to save Brunel's Other Bridge. We need your help.

We start at 9.30am so do please join us if you can. There is plenty of parking space and basic toilets are available. Please wear stout footwear, and you might like to bring overalls, gloves and something to kneel on. We have gloves, high-vis vest and a helmet you can borrow, and we provide tea and coffee!

Youngsters are welcome provided their guardians are with them full time please.

Contact Geoff Wallis ( if you wish to help. We need to have an idea of numbers.

Tasks for 2023

We plan to continue restoration of the Bridge and other heritage structures nearby, and maintain the 'Tongue' area.

April 2023

Today we were delighted that the four authors of the papers that filled the latest edition of the International Journal for the History of Engineering and Technology (Vol 92, No. 1 2022) were all present on site. (See for details of how to obtain a copy, or contact Geoff Wallis ( for one). There was lively discussion about Brunel's design. and in particular the post-tensioned tie-rods inside the 'balloon' section of the spans. Andrew Smith, Bob Watkins and Dr. David Greenfield used our endoscope to investigate the method of fixing and tensioning the rods, and their condition.

Meanwhile our seven other volunteers continued restoration work on the Brunel Lock capstan, and trialled Julian's plate-lifting 'Lewis key'. The expanded gardening team removed four Buddleia bushes and the substantial root of a tree that had grown into the copings of Brunel's Lock. We are seeking the Council's permission to remove other trees that are getting established in the masonry here. Eventually they will dislodge or damage the substantial masonry blocks, which will be a considerable expense to the Council to remedy. Altogether a productive and enjoyable day in the warm sun. Do come and join us on May 20th. It's fun! and we would appreciate your help.

See the photos April 2023

August 2023

The Bridge is best viewed from the south so Julian, Geoff and Chris focussed on painting that side, which now looks very good. Bristol can be proud of its Bridge again.

Chris strimmed the vegetation under the deck, whilst John fixed new timber covers to prevent rubbish entering the main-beams.

Geoff needlegunned and sanded rusty deck plates which Jeff Beckett expertly coated with this grey primer. Jeff is our farthest travelled regular volunteer. He travelled from Cambridge to help us and then went on to see Bristol City lose 2:0 at home to Birmingham. Sorry about the result Jeff, but your work on the Bridge is a winner!

We were delighted to receive a visit from Peter Dunn, Vice Chair of the Bristol IA Society who is very supportive of the BOB project.

See the photos August 2023

September 2023

Despite occasional rain thirty Heritage Open Day visitors came by, most of whom were very supportive and signed up to receive our e-Newsletters.

We focussed on painting the most-visible face of the Bridge, hiding under the Plimsoll Bridge for protection from the rain. We were amused to find graffiti encouraging us to 'embrace the future' .

Another comment mystified us: 'Good ridance to old rubbish'. Surprising, since the Bridge is going nowhere. We were mystified to know what a 'ridance' might be! Chris made short work of the graffiti.

See the photos September 2023

October 2023

In beautiful October sun we almost achieved our aim of finishing the painting of the east, west and south faces of the Bridge, ...and we painted out new graffiti as well.

We were delighted to welcome relatively new volunteers, Rupert (who is also a brilliant photographer), Richard and Martin all of whom painted expertly (anongside Geoff) and the Bridge now looks great.

Chris vanquished weeds with his strimmer so the whole area now looks good and is ready for the winter, ...and no doubt embellishment by the local graffitist.

See the photos October 2023

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