Clifton Suspension Bridge seek 150 years of magical memories and family stories for new exhibition

Home > News > Clifton Suspension Bridge seek 150 years of magical memories and family stories for new exhibition

As part of its 150th Anniversary celebration, Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust is collecting magical memories and family stories which will help to bring the bridge to life in a new Heritage Lottery Funded Heritage and Learning Centre.

Staff and volunteers from the current Visitor Centre are keen to talk to local people who have a special connection to the bridge and who are prepared to share moments from their own lives or family history.

Visitor Services Manager, Laura Hilton said “we have already been contacted by a family whose ancestor was a circus performer and caught a turnip dropped from the bridge on a fork held in his mouth, heard from couples from all over the world who got engaged on the bridge, and met a man who can remember delivering sandwiches to his father who walked the chains in the 1920s without any safety equipment. We are sure there are lots more stories out there and we’d love to hear all about them.”

The team plan to use the memories to create a display, audio guides and a film which will be accessed by over 65,000 people every year. They are keen to hear from anyone with an association to the bridge; particularly in relation to significant events from its opening in 1864 to the last flight of Concorde in November 2003.

To get in touch and share a memory, contact Helen Jeffrey or Laura Hilton on 0117 974 4664 or email


About the project:
Clifton Suspension Bridge was opened on 8th December 1864 and attracted a crowd of between 60 and 150,000 revellers who filled the streets of Bristol. Three parades wound their way to the bridge and a procession of the most important people in the city marched across to cannon fire and the national anthem before it was officially declared open.

150 years later, a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £595,000 is being used to create a brand new Heritage and Learning Centre in Leigh Woods which will be open free of charge to the public. It will contain an exhibition about the history and engineering of the bridge and the story of its creation.

For more information:
For details of the stories already collected or images to accompany this article, contact Laura Hilton at or phone 0117 974 4664.

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