Caneletto to Costain - The Walton Bridge Story

BlackSwanWednesday 27th March saw over £3000 raised for the Sea Cadets as Shepperton Aurora Rotary staged their 10th Annual Prestige Lecture at Halliford School. This year the subject was the hot topic of the Walton Bridge. An excellent presentation was put together by Costains and was seen by a capacity crowd of over 300. Interest was so great that there was a waiting list for tickets.

DavidCatt-CamfieldDavid Catt-Camfield oversaw the evening as a very competent Master of Ceremonies and Laurie and Pat Burrell manned the wine bar handing out the free drinks.
The evening started with a short introduction by Bill Hewlett, Costain’s Technical Director. He gave the background to the new bridge and also introduced Joe Butler—a poet—who acted as a continuity link between the speakers by reading his poetry especially written for the occasion. His poetry was apt and to the point and JoeButlerdrew great applause from the audience.

He was followed by Nick Pollard of the Shepperton and Sunbury Local History Society who gave an interesting history of the bridges – this is the sixth one. Shortly this history will be published as a book Pollardand will have a great local following. After Nick, Luke Richardson explained how Costains kept the community in touch with developments and showed what Costains had done to interest schools in engineering. This echoed the remarks of Philip Cottam, the Headmaster of Halliford School, who opened the evening and mentioned the interaction  Costains had had with his sixth form.

BannisterThen came a fascinating account of the work involved in constructing the new bridge - which is due to be opened in July this year - by the Site Engineer and Project Manager, Andy Bannister. He explained how the steel work was made and fitted into position with a tolerance of only 5mm and the enormous quantities of steel reinforcing and concrete that was needed to anchor the bridge in position. They had to construct an island in the river to carry the arches temporarily while they were welded, this had to be protected from the passing boat traffic colliding with it. To do this a floating platform was moored upstream at an angle designed to deflect traffic past the island. Only one incident occurred - a very embarrassed canoeist hit it, sank and had to be rescued: he claimed he had not seen it!!

NigelAndy emphasized that all was going well so far, the bridge work is on time and in budget and the project has employed directly over 650 men from the surrounding area. They are now aligning the approach roads and constructing a roundabout on the Shepperton side.audience

Nigel Wilson, President of Shepperton Aurora closed the evening by thanking Costains and the Governors of Halliford school together with everyone else who had helped to make the evening a success.

carparkThe event was attended by the Mayors of Spelthorne and Elmbridge and many other local dignitaries. Despite the very cold weather, everyone enjoyed themselves and appreciated the exhibitions showing the work of Costains, The Black Swan Sea Cadets,The Local History Society and our own stand. However the car parking stewards had a hardraffle time in the bitter wind.

Pauline and Doreen organized the raffle and provided a “Round of Golf for 4 with Dinner at Burhill Golf Club” and a “Signed Picture of the bridge” for David to auction at the end of the evening. These and the other raffle prizes were donated generously by local firms with Barclays Bank matching the money raised with a welcome donation. Karen provided some excellent pictures of the lecture and John took some snaps of the marquee and the crowds.












Go to for more of Karen’s pictures  and in the client box type in “aurora” without the quotes. There are pictures there from this and other events.