Executive Summary

The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust is a non-profit-making registered charity that cares for and maintains the Grade 1 listed structure built by civil engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Spanning the picturesque Avon Gorge, Bristol’s most famous landmark has attracted visitors from around the world for 150 years.

The Bridge Tales app combines dramatic reconstructions, voice overs, photography, short films and interactions with Twitter to display the history and untold stories of the Bridge in a fun, educational and enjoyable way.

Created by the suspension bridge trust and students of UWE, the Bridge Tales app celebrates the 150 year anniversary of the bridge opening. This celebration hosted a whole programme of other events and activities that gained international press including a fireworks display and a brass band procession. The weekend also saw the opening of the new visitor centre which acts as the hub of Suspension Bridge information and provides a place for visitors to download the Bridge Tales app.

Challenge

Laura Hilton, Visitor Services Manager at The Suspension Bridge realised that although the visitor centre is open from 10am-5pm everyday, people visiting the bridge can’t always access more information. Laura said…

A lot of people like to visit The Bridge in the evenings, especially in the summer, and we wanted to make sure that there was something that would make their visit more informative and we cannot fix any interpretation boards on the bridge as it is a Grade 1 listed structure.

Laura Hilton, Visitor Services Manager, The Suspension Bridge Trust

 

How Calvium Helped

Calvium developed Bridge Tales to offer an information providing solution that people can access at any time. The app provides a great platform to talk to visitors about important events, architectural features and geography in a spot where they are able to see the things they are referring to.

Furthermore, as technology partners, Calvium guided the UWE students in using the AppTrail designer software to build the app. Using the well designed framework, the students were able to mark out areas on the map and upload their content. They were then able to use our testing platform, AppFurnace to rapidly prototype and see their app in action. Our experience and process in working with non technical producers was therefore instrumental.

Calvium were really supportive of the project: the students were given an induction in AppTrails and extra support when they got a bit stuck. There were well defined deadlines to stick to and the development process has been incredibly smooth and straightforward.

Laura Hilton, Visitor Services Manager, The Suspension Bridge Trust

 

Results

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The app has helped engage new and existing visitors. Laura says that the Bridge Tales AppTrail has something to offer everyone.

The app has provided new information to local people who visit the bridge regularly, but who have maybe never stopped to learn about it. It has also enriched the visit for tourists – especially those on a tight timescale who don’t have time to see all of our new exhibition!

Laura Hilton, Visitor Services Manager, The Suspension Bridge Trust

The app has added a fun interactive element to The Suspension Bridge’s portfolio and has received downloads from all over the world including the US, China, Australia and Mexico to name a few, proving that an app has the ability to reach audiences far beyond its locality.