Students from the University of the West of England working in partnership with Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust, Calvium Ltd and the Heritage Lottery Fund have launched a free interactive phone app as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
‘Bridge Tales’ was researched, designed and built by undergraduates studying Journalism, Photography, Media Studies, Film Studies and Interactive Technologies who were granted access to the historical archives held by the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust and a rare visit inside the hollow abutments beneath the Leigh Woods tower.
The talented team of placement students Maisie Campbell, Nick Fenwick, Talia Maguire, Laura Brandist, Beatrice Steinhoerster, Holly Gosai, Poppy Hayhurst and Isabella Coombes were given complete creative control of the project, developing the smartphone app as part of a new exhibition space at the Bridge’s new Visitor Centre.
Now available free of charge for iOS and Android, the app combines dramatic reconstructions, voice overs, photography, short films and interactions with other media platforms such as Twitter to display the history and untold stories of the Bridge in a fun, educational and enjoyable way. It was developed using the AppTrails platform built by software company Calvium, who are based at Pervasive Media Studios on Bristol Harbourside. The platform enables users to insert text, images, audio and links to video and websites onto GPS hotspots that will be triggered when users are at a specific location.
Jo Reid, Marketing Director at Calvium said, “The Clifton Suspension Bridge App is a lovely addition for people visiting Bristol’s most celebrated landmark. It adds a new realm of experience that will promise unheard anecdotes, stories and facts to someone who has lived in Bristol all their life, or been here just a day.”
For Maisie Campbell, a final year student on BA (Hons) Filmmaking and Creative Media, this was her first experience of working on a live project in a technical role. She says, “It’s been a great experience, I’d really like to work in the technical media when I graduate, so this was an amazing opportunity to apply the skills I’ve learnt in class. To be entrusted with complete control for the whole live project, was amazing. I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved and it’s great to have something tangible as a result of all our hard work.”
Laura Hilton, Visitor Services Manager at Clifton Suspension Bridge, adds “It was a big responsibility for the placement students to have complete creative control on the project and we’ve been really impressed with how they’ve risen to the challenge. They’ve decided what to write, film and direct and the final result really highlights the quality of the UWE students. I’m sure visitors to the new Heritage and Learning Centre will really enjoy this new way of exploring the Bridge.”