At our Visitor Centre we hold an important collection of artefacts and records relating to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Trust.
This varied collection includes an exceptional range of commemorative objects and artwork relating to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, including a historic collection of souvenirs and postcards sold over the last 150 years from various concessions stands, chinaware featuring iconic images of the bridge and Avon Gorge - and a varied collection of toll tokens and tickets. Along with these objects, the Centre also holds a selection of newspaper cuttings relating to the history of the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust, maintenance of the bridge and special events, including Western Daily Press articles dating back to the opening of the Bridge in 1864. These textual records closely detail the events and individuals that have contributed towards shaping the history of the Bridge.
(16) Oval flared edged plate with brown print marked Apsley Pellatt & Co Ltd, London, England
Our photographic and paper records provide an excellent insight into the day-to-day upkeep and running of the Bridge, with images documenting building work, as well as contemporary notes taken by engineers working on the structure and papers which analyse the innovative techniques used to construct Brunel’s Bridge.
As a whole the collection demonstrates the enduring renown of Bristol’s most iconic landmark, both within the city as well as further afield. Various objects are displayed throughout the year within our main exhibition space and on the mezzanine level of the Visitor Centre.
(A010) Engineer's site notes
In addition to this, the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust maintains a working archive of maintenance records spanning the entire life of the bridge which are referred to by contractors and technicians involved in live maintenance works and future planning.
If you are interested in accessing our collections or would like to donate an object or contribute an oral history/reminiscence, please contact Laura Hilton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0117 974 4664. (Regretfully we do not have a comprehensive list of all workers employed during the 33 years of bridge construction as much of the work was completed by contractors and may not be able to help you progress with family history enquiries in this regard.)