The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Newport Transporter was held at the Mission for Seafarers on Friday 21 February 2020.

The meeting was attended by the Mayor Councillor William Routley, who urged support for the Council’s attempt to raise £100,000 in match funding to trigger a £10m Heritage Lottery bid to fund structural repairs to the Bridge to secure its future, improve its surroundings, extend the car park and build a state of the art visitor centre. Donations to FONTB can be sent to 2, Pwll Pen Court, Hartridge, Newport NP18 2NH or to The Friends have pledged £10,000 and a generous donation made during the evening took them in range of that figure.

The Meeting was chaired by the Friends’ President, Dame Rosemary Butler DBE and she and guest speakers, the Council Leader, Councillor Jane Mudd and Newport West MP, Ruth Jones, followed the Mayor’s lead in praising both the Bridge and the work of the Friends in publicising what a treasure we have in our midst.

In his Chairman’s Report, David Hando BEM, praised the work of the Committee and the volunteers who run the visitor centre, including those who have retired after years of loyal service. New volunteers are always welcome. Mr Hando said that mention had been made of the Middlesbrough Bridge, which he said was magnificent, but Newport’s Bridge was majestic! The Council Officer, Mike Lewis was thanked for his services and the Friends wished him all happiness on his forthcoming retirement.

The Treasurer, Isailo Dimic, presented the Accounts, which revealed another successful year. The Officers and Committee were unanimously elected,

On behalf of the Council, Emma Newrick, presented an encouraging update on the progress of the Heritage Lottery bid, and there was a fascinating presentation by Steve Maguire on his visit to the seven remaining European Transporter Bridges.

The Raffle raised £100 to be shared between the Mayor’s Charity “The David ‘Bomber’ Pearce Legacy” and the Matched Funding for the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The meeting ended with refreshments kindly provided by Jo and Dave of Fanny’s Cafe.

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