Friends of Friar Gate Bridge


English Heritage, now Historic England, conferred a Grade 2 listing on Friar Gate Bridge in 1974, citing its ornate ironwork; many other organisations and experts would endorse this. For many people in Derby, however, Friar Gate Bridge has a much more personal significance.

The older generation have fond memories of train trips from Friargate station, immediately next to the bridge, especially to Skegness. People living and working near the bridge can see enough to admire but are saddened by its present sorry state; school children and tourists come and wonder at its history; at least one couple had their wedding photos taken under the bridge, and yet successive City Councils have failed to maintain it.

Over the years, various campaigns have been started to try to persuade the City Council to restore the bridge. In 2013 residents of the New Zealand area of Derby formed an action group, the Friends of Friar Gate Bridge, which met with council officers and neighbouring landowners. By early 2015 there seemed, at last, to be some consensus and this encouraged the group, aided by other individuals, to formalise itself.

In May 2015 a public meeting was held, a constitution agreed and trustees appointed. In August The Friends of Friar Gate Bridge obtained the status of a Charitable Incorporated Organization.

The objectives of the Friends can be found in “The Constitution“; to summarise, we are setting out to raise public awareness about the history of the bridge and to promote its conservation, protection and improvement.

The Friends will be engaging with the public and all interested bodies to establish an ongoing use for the bridge, which will not remain simply as a piece of ornate street architecture. The Friends will also be raising funds to ensure that the bridge is fully restored. The current target is £500,000.


Help to support us

We are looking for support in the forms of:

  • Membership by individuals and businesses
  • Volunteers, for various administrative and promotional roles
  • Financial donations

The stronger the Friends of Friar Gate Bridge are seen to be, the more likely it is that the bridge will obtain a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and its restoration can begin. Yes, Friar Gate Bridge Needs You!

How you can Support Us

The Trustees

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 for 35 years. 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.

Business supporters

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