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Friends Of Friargate Bridge Blog

Friar Gate Bridge Drainage

Some considerable time ago Derby City Council allocated funding to remedial work to minimise the deterioration of Friar Gate Bridge.  Some vegetation has already been removed, and work is due to start on 3rd April to improve the drainage and clean the abutments.  The Bridge’s in-built drainage channels are blocked, so it suffers from water pooling on the deck plates and running down the abutments.  The work is not part of the ultimate restoration but is a very welcome step to reduce the corrosion of the ironwork and improve the appearance of the stonework.

5th March 2018 Trustees’ meeting

Here are some key points from the FFGB trustees’ meeting on 5 March 2018:

  • A great deal of activity is currently taking place relative to the development of 20 acres of land adjoining the Bridge. The report for Latham Architect, on options for the long time use of the Bridge, was scheduled for completion end of March 2018 – but it was agreed that the report deadline would be extended for a further 2 months so that these developments can be fully taken into account. If necessary a further extension will be agreed to ensure that the best option for the Bridge can be selected.
  • The Friar Gate Bridge presentation by Peter Mosley is receiving excellent feedback – and further bookings are being arranged. These presentations serve to further heighten awareness of the importance of the Bridge to the heritage of Derby. Peter’s presentation is informative and entertaining, so let us know if you would like him to come and speak to your group.
  • Peter is now in contact with Keith Blood (Blue Badge Tourist Guide for the county of Derbyshire) with a view to jointly promoting each other’s presentations.
  • Although FFGB has no responsibility for the Goods Yard site, its development could have a material effect on what is best for the Bridge. The sale of part of the Goods Yard site for the new Cathedral School seems to be unlocking possibilities for the rest of the site, which adjoins the Bridge and includes the warehouse and most of the arches.
  • Following discussion with Elizabeth Heaton, Rolls-Royce have agreed to produce lesson plans and materials, integrated with the Key Stage 2 curriculum, that can be delivered by the trainees, teachers, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassadors and other volunteers in primary schools. Ten R-R employees are working on this project, which is scheduled to be finished by the end of the current year – and then rolled out into schools.
  • The FFGB team working on material for the R-R project are now Elizabeth Heaton, Peter Mosley, Steve Jackson (retired primary school headmaster) and Gordon Inglis, Head Teacher Designate of the new Derby Cathedral school to be built on 9 acres of land adjoining the Bridge.
  • Following a further meeting with our ‘Governance Consultants (Debbie Read) a plan and material for Trustee recruitment is being prepared. Further Key Volunteers are still being sought.

Annual General Meeting 22nd January 2018

The Friends of Friar Gate Bridge AGM took place in January in the Greyhound Inn (and we thank the Greyhound for making us welcome).  The meeting was attended by a good company of members, including one who had come all the way from March in Cambridgeshire.  They included links by shared membership with the Derby Civic Society, the Railway and Canal Historical Society, the Great Northern Railway Historical Society and the Victorian Society.  After the presentation of the trustees’ report and financial report there was a lively discussion about the future of the Bridge and its relationship with the adjoining Goods Yard and Warehouse site.

Elizabeth Heaton, Malcolm Holden and Howard Thomas were re-elected as trustees, and Mandy Coons made a welcome return as a trustee.  One of our priorities in the coming months is to increase the number of trustees, especially adding to the skills needed to run a heritage restoration project.

The meeting ended with Peter Mosley’s informative and entertaining illustrated talk on Friar Gate Bridge.  It’s very good – so let us know if you have a group you would like Peter to come and speak to.

Charity Horse Race Evening – 26 Jan 2018 at Rykneld Bowling Club

The Charity Horse Race Evening at Rykneld Bowling Club on  26 Jan 2018 went very well. Here is a report from their website:—26-jan-2018.html 

Our second Race Horse Evening in support of the Charity ‘Friends of Friar Gate Bridge’ (FFGB) took place in the Clubhouse on Friday 26 January 2018.

It was another ‘sell-out’ event and a great evening of entertainment – with the profits being split 50/50 with FFGB.
It was also the first opportunity to use our new Audio / Visual equipment – installed by Liam Kirkland and Martin – to whom we are most grateful.
Our thanks go to:-

1. The marketing team of Gordon Lathwell, Malcolm Holden, Elizabeth Heaton (FFGB) and Howard Thomas (FFGB) who found sponsors and pre-sold horses to some 56 ‘owners’.

2. The Race Sponsors:-
    • Race 1 – A W Lymn – The Family Funeral Service
    • Race 2 – Mary Moore – supported by Sainsbury’s and ASDA
    • Race 3 – Ted Goodhall (RVM)
    • Race 4 – The Housework Fairy
    • Race 5 – The Rykneld Cartel – John Dixon, Richard Knowles and Malcolm Holden
    • Race 6 – Batchelor Pads Lettings Agency
    • Race 7 – Littleover Betting Services.

3. Mary Moore for controlling the entrance door, selling raffle tickets and for running the ASDA raffle at the end of the evening. 

4. The ‘bookies’ – Joanne Lawton and Mandy Coons from FFGB, who provided the horse race video, race cards and made everything run smoothly on the evening.
5. Helen Legg, Sheila Knowles, Ann Lewis, Em Mansfield and Pat Bousefield for the catering at half-time.
6. Barrie Ladds for manning the bar throughout the evening.
7. Dennis Young for the closing vote of thanks to everyone for all their hard work in putting this event together.

8th January 2018 Trustees’ meeting

Here are some key points from the FFGB trustees’ meeting on 8 January 2018:

  •  Two representatives from the Derby Civic Society attended the meeting and have offered to provide direct help to FFGB where required.
  •  Consideration is being given to making a (limited) announcement of progress at the Marketing Derby breakfast meeting on Friday 19 January 2018 at Intu.
  •  If anyone has suggestions for changes to the new website, developed by Jayne Courts of Human Interface Publications – please do get in touch with her.
  •  Latham Architects are progressing well with their project to evaluate the most viable option for the restoration and long-term sustainable use of the Bridge. A final report is planned within the next 3 months.
  • An initial meeting was held with our appointed ‘Governance Consultant’ on Monday 15 January and a forward plan sketched out – encompassing advice on the appropriate Organisation Structure for FFGB and a comprehensive Governance Review.
  • To prepare ourselves for the future, recruitment of 2-3 suitable Trustees has been allocated our number one priority. We are looking for people who are passionate the project and we would like to hear from anyone who is interested.

6th November 2017 Trustees’ meeting

Here are some key points from the FFGB trustees’ meeting on 6 November 2017:

  • We should be aware of the thinking of the various committees and bodies planning the future of the City and Friar Gate area. We should really be reading their reports if we can get hold of them.
  • Several AGM venues were suggested, the key factors being ease of parking and being in the Friar Gate area. The date of the AGM was re-set to 22nd January 2018.
  • It was suggested that Peter’s presentation should be made to FFGB members, either at a separate meeting of perhaps at the AGM.
  • Further meetings with Latham’s architects are planned.
  • Trustee recruitment was discussed.

9th October 2017 Trustees’ meeting

Here are some key points from the FFGB trustees’ meeting on 9 October 2017:

1. Architectural Heritage Consultants

As a result of the successful bid for the Heritage Lottery Fund grant, Latham’s have been appointed as the architects working with The Friends Of Friargate Bridge Trustees. Latham’s will be doing a viability study for the future use of the bridge.


The provisional date for The Friends of Friargate Bridge AGM is 20th November 2017 at 7.45pm. If you would like to join the FFGB come along and have a chat on the night. There will be someone on hand to sign you up as a member

3. Presentations

We now have a presentation on the Bridge available for interested groups. Please contact us if you are interested in booking a presentation.

17th July 2017 Trustees’ meeting

Here are some key points from the FFGB trustees’ meeting on 17 July 2017:

  1. Governance Consultants

1.1. A formal ‘Brief’ has been prepared for issue to a number of Governance Consultants who specialise in Heritage-related projects. These Consultants are drawn from a list provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund – and identification of these is pre-requisite to receiving any Heritage Lottery Funding.

1.2. The ‘Brief’ was issued on 15 May 2017, inviting a number of Governance Consultants to submit proposals for “Advising on the appropriate Organisation Structure for FFGB and for conducting a comprehensive Governance Review.”

The Governance Review includes the FFGB Constitution, Trustee / Key Volunteers’ Skills and Roles & Responsibilities, Operational Processes, Training Plans and Recruitment.

1.3. Proposals have been received and a short-list of 5 Consultants has been drawn up.

1.4. The formal FFGB process for selection of a Governance Consultant has been documented and is being followed through. The final selection meeting has been scheduled for Monday 24 July 2017.

  1. Architectural Heritage Consultants

2.1. A formal brief has been prepared for issue to a number Heritage Accredited Architects. These Architects have been selected based on advice from the HLF together with a review of all Architects Accredited in Building Conservation in the Midlands as contained in the AABC Register.

2.2. The ‘Brief’ was issued on 18 May 2017, inviting a number of Architects to submit proposals for a “Viability Study of Options for Friar Gate Bridge”.

2.3. Proposal have been received from firms of suitably qualified Architects.

2.4. The formal FFGB process for selection of an Architectural Consultant has been documented and is being followed through. The final selection meeting has been scheduled for Monday 24 July 2017.

  1. Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – Scoping Project

3.1. Following discussion and meetings with representatives from the HLF in Nottingham, a formal ‘Project Scoping’ bid under their Resilient Heritage Scheme was submitted on 19 June 2017.

3.2. On 28 June 2017, a letter was received from HLF to acknowledge receipt of our Bid and advise that “There is strong competition for our funds and your application will be considered as part of a competitive batch with other projects where we will assess the relative strengths of applications alongside the available budget. Your application has been provisionally allocated to a meeting that will take place on 22 August 2017.”

  1. Heritage Strength Check

4.1. A self-assessment has been made of FFGB against the on-line ‘Heritage Strength Checker’ from HLF. The output from this, together with combined business knowledge of Trustees and Key Volunteers is being used to identify what needs to be done to ensure that the FFGB is ‘fit for purpose’ going forward.

4.2. Also, a self-assessment has been made against a skills matrix derived from the Strength Checker and HLF feedback from meetings.

4.3. A formal (external) Heritage Strength Check review will be made by the Governance Consultant and a report produced once the Scoping Project gets underway.

  1. Business Processes

5.1. Work has taken place on identifying and documenting the Key Business Processes required to run the FFGB Charity.

5.2. A Business Management Manual has been produced, which lists the (currently) 30 Key Business Processes – including Strategic Planning, Project Management, Public Relations and Communications. This manual is based on the world-leading ‘Porter Value Chain’.

5.3. The Template for documenting Processes, to a common format, has been established – and a number of processes have already been defined and are operational. These include process for Managing Meetings, Governance Consultant Selection and Architect selection.

5.4. Further processes have been drafted and are at various stages of implementation – such as Business Continuity (including a Risk Register), Website Design & Management and Event Management & Fundraising.

  1. Partners

6.1. Derby City Council have provided a letter of support that the Council is fully supportive of the HLF Scoping Bid submitted by the Friends of Friar Gate Bridge and that they are very much hoping that this initial bid will pave the way for a much bigger project where both parties can work even more closely together.

6.2. Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust HBT have advised that they would like to provide us with support (non-financial) as either ‘enabler’ or ‘partner’ dependent on how the Scoping Project unfolds.