Bow Bridge, Wateringbury and the development of early reinforced concrete, Maidstone

7 October, 2015 | 18:00 - 12:00

Bow Bridge, Wateringbury
Bow Bridge, Wateringbury

About this event

One hundred years ago, an old timber bridge across the River Medway at Wateringbury was replaced by a new bridge using a revolutionary new material: reinforced concrete. The technique had been developed by two French engineers and became known as the Mouchel-Hennebique system. The new Bow Bridge at Wateringbury is a very rare survivor of this early, revolutionary technique. The bridge was a joint project between the local District Council and the Rochester Bridge Trust.

In the centenary year of the bridge, a special lecture has been organised. In the first part, Edwin Trout will talk about the development of reinforced concrete and specifically the Mouchel-Hennebique system. In the second part, Sue Threader will speak about the history of Bow Bridge in particular and, by reference to original documents from the Trust’s archives, will explain the story of how the bridge came to be constructed together with details of the opening ceremony which took place on 23rd July 1915.

Event materials

The following materials are available for download:

Edwin Trout
Edwin Trout

Edwin Trout

Edwin has responsibility for the library and archives at The Concrete Society – and previously at the British Cement Association – having joined the industry in 1995. He has an interest in the history of cement and concrete and has written widely on the subject. His book, ‘Some Writers on Concrete’, was published in 2013 and he writes a monthly column in ‘Concrete’ magazine.

Sue Threader
Sue Threader

Sue Threader

Sue is the Bridge Clerk (Chief Executive) of the Rochester Bridge Trust. She is the Chairman of the ICE Historical Engineering Group for Kent & East Sussex and was recently awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of West London for her work to promote civil engineering to young people and for being a role model for women in engineering. In 2014, she wrote a book about bridges for primary schools: ‘Learning about Bridges’.

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