August 9th is the 260th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Telford, whose pioneering engineering achievement, the Menai Suspension Bridge, still spans the treacherous waters of the Menai Strait and attracts visitors from all over the world. Come down to Prince’s Pier on the Waterfront in Menai Bridge and help us celebrate.
The event – between 2-5 pm on Wednesday 9th August – is free and open to all. The centre-piece of the celebrations will be the creation of an outline of the Menai Bridge, using old £1 coins featuring the Bridge. These have been donated by the public, since the introduction of the new 12-sided pound coin.
There will be bridge-building, drawing and painting activities for the kids; displays about the history of the Bridge and of Telford; sales tables and guided walks. And there will be a popup exhibition of artefacts related to the bridge. Bring along any of your own Menai Bridge-related items to show to others.
There will also be Bridge-themed foods, with Red Boat Ice Cream creating a special flavour for the event, and chocolatiers Benjamin Lee launching a new Menai Bridge chocolate. The inns at each end of the Bridge – Tafarn y Bont and The Antelope – are also supporting the event.
Thomas Telford was born in 1757, in Eskdale, in south-west Scotland. He was the son of a shepherd and went on to become one of the most famous and influential engineers of the Georgian era. His Menai Suspension Bridge was opened in 1826 and was the biggest suspended span in the world at the time.
Menai Heritage is still collecting the old pound coins for the event. If you have any and would like to donate them, collection buckets can be found at the Menai Bridge Post Office on the High Street and in the NatWest Bank in Llangefni, or they can be dropped off at the Menai Heritage office in the Thomas Telford Centre in Menai Bridge (across from Waitrose, open Wednesday & Thursday, 10am-5pm, or Monday and Friday mornings).