1819 – A Bridge to the Future – 10 August 2019

Laying the first stoneTwo hundred years ago construction of the Menai Suspension Bridge began. On Saturday 10th August Menai Heritage (the independent charity that runs the popular Bridges Exhibition in Menai Bridge) will be holding two celebratory events on the shore of the Menai Strait to mark the day that the first stone was laid.

These events will offer an opportunity to learn about living in the 19th century and stimulate people’s imagination of what it might have been like to be standing on the brink of the creation of such an iconic Bridge to the Future.

Throughout the day, a History Fair will offer information and demonstrations of the skills needed in the 19th century for bridge building. There will also be an opportunity to hear how some local people at the time might have thought the Bridge was going to affect their lives.

Then just after noon at the foot of the Menai Suspension Bridge, to three cheers, a commemorative plaque will be unveiled by senior members of the Civil Engineering profession, assisted by Ms N Rh Jones, Chair of Menai Heritage, in a ceremony to commemorate laying the first stone.

1819 A Bridge to the FutureThe History Fair will be held at Prince’s Pier, Water St, Menai Bridge, from 10am to 4pm. The activities at the Fair will include:

  • Anglesey Masonry – Demonstration of stone splitting with plug & feather technique
  • Geomôn – Learning about limestone
  • Menai Heritage – Demonstrations of lifting and moving stone
  • Menai Heritage – Building a model bridge
  • Bangor University Marine sciences – Underwater in the Strait
  • Oriel Ger-y-Fenai – Prints of the bridges for sale
  • Holyhead Maritime Museum – A sea captain and maritime tools, plus sales of Museum merchandise
  • Maritime Volunteers (originally from the Clio ship) – Knot-tying and other maritime skills
  • Cadarn Consulting Engineers – Draughtsmanship
  • Menai Heritage – Books and merchandise, including the newly published book from Bob Daimond and Menai Heritage: “Menai Suspension Bridge The First 200 Years”

This event is sponsored by:

Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd Griffiths
Insitution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Wales Cymru ICE
Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT), Cymru Wales
Welsh Government through the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division and the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales Federation
Jones Bros. Ruthin (Civil Engineering) Co. Ltd.
UK Highways A55 Ltd.  
Mott McDonald Mott MacDonald
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