Hello everybody! My name is Tim and I’m from Germany. I’m currently 16 years old and I’m doing a Work Experience here at the Clifton Suspension Bridge for just a week. This work experience was organised by my school in Bremen. Bremen is about the same size as Bristol in North-West Germany and has the same temperature and weather as Bristol. You can go to Bremen’s City Centre for a lot of sightseeing and shopping. Also nearby is the River Weser area, which is also nice for shopping or visiting bars.
I’m here because I had the opportunity to and because I wanted to experience what working in a foreign country is like. Furthermore I was really interested in working at the Suspension Bridge because of the interesting architecture and the beautiful view.
When I first arrived in Bristol I thought ‘yeah well whatever’ but when I started my first journey to the Suspension Bridge I noticed a lot of the beauty the city has to offer. Although I’m sure that I haven’t seen everything at least I can judge by the people and things I’ve seen until now.
When I arrived at the Visitor Centre I was welcomed very nicely and introduced to the Team. Everyone was really kind and helpful. After I met all the people I had to look at the museum to understand the bridge’s history. With that information I spent the first shift at the Reception Desk greeting all the visitors and helping them if they had questions. After my lunch break I helped Kat prepare things for a school visit doing some research on Hawkshaw and Barlow; who were the people that finished the bridge after Brunel’s death. I thought about questions we could ask the children about them. I think that was interesting because I didn’t know anything about Hawkshaw or Barlow before.
On Tuesday Gordon took me on a Hard Hat Tour into the Vaults under the bridge. It was really exciting because I never would have imagined that such huge Vaults would be right under a bridge to support it, furthermore there were stalactites down there which is also a thing that I never would have imagined to be down there. Later that day I also helped preparing a room for a meeting; moving the furniture and disassembling some things. I helped doing that the following days too.
On Wednesday we went to visit at a few museums to look at possibilities to make the museum more interesting for kids. I had a lot of fun in the museums even though we had to walk a lot. The museums we visited were M Shed, the New Room and the Bristol City Museum. M Shed is about the People, History and City of Bristol. We also visited the New Room which is a museum dedicated to John and Charles Wesley’s Story and their views on the world at the time. John and Charles were preachers in the 18th Century and they founded a new religion. The last museum we visited was the Bristol City Museum but because we didn’t have a lot of time I was only able to see the Wildlife Exhibition which shows the Bristol Harbour Wildlife and gives Information about it.
On Thursday I designed a flyer for the Clifton Suspension Bridge Talk Programme and then prepared my own small part of a tour for a primary school and thought about questions and activities to make my part of the tour interesting for them. After that I was on the FOH again, where I had a nice talk with volunteer Ray about Bristol and some other things.
On my last Day here on Friday I took part in a tour with Kat and I presented my own small part of the tour to the children there. After that I helped them with the Bridge Building Workshop. While I have the chance here I want to thank Laura, Kat, Maud and all the Volunteers I have talked to for being so nice to me and helping me with every question I had. Thanks to you guys it was a really enjoyable week here in Bristol at the Visitor Centre. I hope I can visit Bristol again in the next few years because it really is an amazing city and I really liked it. Thanks!