Promoting the historical and architectural heritage of Friar Gate Bridge.

Meet Our Trustees

Howard Thomas

I have been a commercial and property finance broker for over 25 years, based in 32 Friar Gate, right next to the bridge. I frequently commented how sad it was that this beautiful structure was so neglected until one day my stepdaughter said “Well stop moaning and do something about it.”


Our office housekeeper gave me a leaflet about a meeting of the original Friends group and two years later here we are.


I came to Derby, care of Derbyshire Building Society, from Chester where historic artefacts have been more highly regarded and cared for. Friar Gate Bridge is unique and should be high on the “must see” list for visitors to Derby. That is what I want to achieve and with determination and support that is what we will realise.


Meanwhile I try to balance family, (retired wife, dog, two sons, two step children, grand children etc.) business and sporting commitments (football referee). No rest for the wicked!!

Elizabeth  Heaton

Hello.  I am a chartered mechanical engineer and a mum.  I've lived in Derby since 1988, mostly in the New Zealand area, so I've walked under Friar Gate Bridge more times than I can count – and thought, “Something should be done about that!”  When I heard that a group of New Zealand residents had started meeting to campaign for the restoration of the Bridge, I couldn't do other than join them.


To my eyes the Bridge is a lovely structure: elegant, and tastefully decorative.  We all need some beauty in our lives!  It is also designed and made in Derby, and belongs to a tradition of fine engineering of which Derby should be proud.  Like many of us, I find my life is very full up with the demands of work and family and other interests, but I have made up my mind to do what I can towards giving Friar Gate Bridge the future it deserves.

Malcolm Holden

Who I am and why involved with FFGB


I am a keep fit enthusiast and keen squash player, have been married to Joan for 43 years, have one daughter and have lived in Derby since 1982. My qualifications are Bachelor of Commerce, Chartered Accountant plus a degree in Business Excellence. Most of my business career (27 years) was with Bass plc – having held positions of Director of Finance, Director of IT, Director of Management Information and Company Secretary in various subsidiary companies and at Group Finance in Burton. Having retired in 1999 I rapidly became bored and set up a Business/Management Consultancy organisation – Six Sigma Limited – that provides highly structured help to organisations of all sizes in all business sectors.


My passion is helping people and companies – and I do a considerable amount of pro-bono work throughout the year for schools and other organisations. I first met Howard several years ago, through a local business group, and when I understood what he was trying to achieve with the Friar Gate Bridge project this sparked my enthusiasm to help. I was delighted to be appointed a Trustee at the Charity’s AGM in 2016 and am now trying my level best to help the Charity achieve its goal of restoring and securing the iconic Friar Gate Bridge for generations to come.

Andy Savage

Back in 1986 to 1998 I used to walk under Friar Gate Bridge several times a week but at the time I never gave it a thought. In 2001 I created a website featuring photographs around Derby which over time took over all my spare time. At one point I happened to photograph the bridge and noticed the Handyside badge and wanted to learn more about who that was but I found it very difficult to get any information, What I did find out was that this bridge was in a poor state of repair and in 2007 I launched a petition to try and get it restored. From that time onwards I devoted thousands of hours of my time to researching everything ever made by Andrew Handyside around the World, mapping them and collating a vast amount of research data. Launching a dedicated blog to the work of Handyside in 2011. Due to my online presence this blog then attracted a lot of attention from people around the world who found items such as fountains, bridges and railway stations with the Handyside mark who wanted to restore them and I would help them with information.


I have found so many items around the world that bear the Handyside of Derby badge, I feel that we should be very proud that this company put Derby on the map and would love to see Friar Gate bridge restored in his honour.

Friends of Friar Gate Bridge is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Charity Commission for England & Wales Number 1163174

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