The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust has been granted funding from the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) and Biffa Award to commence a year-long project to celebrate the lives and work John Hawkshaw (1811-1891) and William Henry Barlow (1812-1902), two prominent engineers who played a crucial role in the completion of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Following the death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1859, the two men rallied together and raised funds to finish Brunel’s first solo project as a memorial to their fellow engineer. They successfully modified Brunel’s original design and completed the building of the Clifton Suspension Bridge in 1864.
Sir John Hawkshaw is best known for the development of the Circle Line of the London Underground, whilst William H. Barlow designed and constructed the magnificent glass canopy of St. Pancras station. ‘Hawkshaw and Barlow Untold’ will be an opportunity to celebrate and recognise these and other achievements through creating new interpretation panels to join the permanent exhibition at the Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre.
Trish Johnson, Bridgemaster comments that; “It is fantastic to be given this opportunity to let our visitors know about the other civil engineers that were involved in the history of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Amongst other changes, Hawkshaw and Barlow used their engineering expertise to modify and strength the bridge deck. Although at the time they were considering horses and carts crossing the bridge, the well-designed deck can still carry the 4 million cars that cross over the bridge each year.”
The project has been made possible through the ‘History Makers – People who shaped our world’ Programme funded by the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) and Biffa Award. Funded by Biffa Award with support from the Landfill Communities Fund, the programme is funding independent museums to create new exhibitions that will inspire the public through the lives and achievements of extraordinary, historical figures.
The scheme is managed by the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) and Biffa Award, a multimillion-pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to communities and environmental projects across the UK.