Members should have received notice of the fifteenth Annual
General Meeting which will take place in the Conference Room of
the Office for National Statistics, Cardiff Road, Newport at 7pm
on Friday 6th December 2013. A report will appear here in
Representatives of the three British Transporter Bridges held
a second meeting with Rolf Hoehmann of the Bureau of
Industrial Archaeology to progress an international, serial
application to UNESCO for World Heritage Status for the
world’s surviving Transporter Bridges.
Of the eighteen Transporter Bridges built between 1893 and
1916 eight remain. They are Rochford in France, Osten and
Rendesburg in Germany, Buenos Aires in Argentina and the three
British Bridges, Newport, Middlesbrough and Warrington. Bilbao
in Spain already has Heritage Status.
This second meeting, held at the Bridge Visitor Centre at
Middlesbrough, was a follow up to the Celtic Manor conference
held this time last year. Newport was represented by the
Chairman of the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge,
Councillor David Hando and Mike Lewis of the Newport Museum
Service. The British bridges handed over bid material to Rolf,
whose next visit is to Buenos Aires.
Rolf gave an up date on developments at the French, German
and Argentinian bridges. He said that, although there was a
long waiting list for Heritage Status, European medieval
churches and castles were over represented. That gave an
advantage to an international, serial application involving
20th century industrial archaeology. Nevertheless it would be
a long process.
Meetings would be arranged in September with Cadw at Newport
and English Heritage at Middlesborough.
Pctured below at the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge are (l
to r) Mike Lewis, Rolf Hoehmann and David Hando
are sorry to have to announce the death of founder member,
former Chairman and Life Vice-President Sidney Robinson on 19
January at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. Trustee
Anne Gatehouse writes:
Sidney was born in Newport on 28th November 1914. He spent
his working life in the shipping industry in Newport and
Bristol. He had an amazing capacity for facts and his memory
was phenomenal. He could walk into a building in Newport and
tell you the history of it.
He was a founder member of FONTB and served as Vice Chairman
and three years as Chairman, seeing us through the Centenary
year of our Bridge. He supported all our events, on the Open
Days still going ‘over the top’ into his nineties, he also
helped me with many of the talks and was always ready with
answers and information for the audience. He was so thrilled
to receive a certificate for his chairmanship and later, when
we made him a Vice President, he received another one. Both
certificates had pride of place on the wall of his flat in
Penarth which he kept immaculate.
Whatever I asked him for with regards to Newport and the
Transporter Bridge, their history and heritage he always had
the answer. Some times producing long explanations either
written or typed, nothing was too much for him and his wealth
of knowledge was amazing. I was so pleased that I set up a
meeting, in my home, between Sidney and Professor Alan Jones,
which resulted in the book ‘The River Usk’.
Sidney had many other interests in Newport, Penarth and
Cardiff and belonged to many organisations. The main ones
Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, Newport Civic
Society, Both Penarth and Cardiff History Societies and the
Victorian Society. He always travelled by public transport
sometimes not arriving home until midnight. Sidney nursed his
wife for many years and when she passed away a few years ago
he was proud to take her to Christchurch Cemetery via The
Newport Transporter Bridge
I am proud to have known him and call him my Friend.
FONTB & Newport Civic Society
The Penarth Times carried an obituary on 30 January .
Sidney’s funeral took place on Wednesday 8 February and many
of the Committee and some other members gathered at the Bridge
to witness his last journey on the gondola, pictured below.