Make Henley Shine Bridge Project Reignited With New Team

The Make Henley Shine project to relight up Henley bridge has a new team behind it who have been working together for the last few months to reignite this project, much-loved by the public.

The team is led by Daniel Bausor who worked on the London Illuminated River project and is joined by architect, Gavin Jackson, Oliver Mahony, Emma Levy, Michaela Clarke along with artist, Clive Hemsley whose idea it was to light up the bridge originally.

A generous donation to kick-start the project has meant that the team has been able to fund heritage and ecology surveys and reports.  No animal habitats were recorded and there were no bats or evidence of bats on the bridge.  These will accompany an updated planning application to South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) this month.   Planning permission is required by both SODC and Wokingham District Council as they are joint planning authorities.  Local architect, Gavin Jackson is working closely with the planning officer at SODC and once an approval has been obtained a new planning application will be submitted to Wokingham District Council.  Once lit, Henley will be the first bridge on the Thames to have sustainable LED lighting outside of London.

The new proposed lighting system will be supplied by Signify, the world leader in lighting, which provided the same lighting system used to illuminate the London bridges, including Millennium and Westminster bridges.  The discrete, low energy system will be made up of 470 LED nodes that follow the line of each arch and balustrade and so echo the bridge icon that greets visitors to the town.

The bridge was first lit up temporarily by Henley resident and artist Clive Hemsley in February 2018 without planning permission as he wanted to show the Town Council what effect the lights could achieve.  A petition started by Michaela Clarke to keep the lights achieved over 2,500 signatures.  Clive said, “The string of conventional lights was never designed to be permanent and they didn’t damage the infrastructure of the bridge.  I must thank David Rodger Sharp for starting the ‘Make Henley Shine’ project with me. I’m delighted that the baton has now been picked up by some very determined and talented locals. I’ve always said light stimulates our brain and that is good for our health.  I’ve also said in order to stay the same – you have to change. It’s been a huge roller coaster, we are not there yet but with this committee – and with everyone’s backing it will happen in 2022.”

Daniel Bausor said, “We’re excited about the Make Henley Shine project to act as a beacon for the people and businesses of Henley as well as visitors. Also, our aim is to fundraise in the new year to fund this 10 year arts project which will celebrate the relationship between Henley and the River Thames.”

The group is in discussions with many of the town’s businesses and organisations, some of which have already committed to help fund the project.  There are plans to register the project as a charity which will work with a range of stakeholders, residents, communities and special interest groups to develop a broad programme of public events and activities for people of all ages around the river.

A crowd funding initiative will be launched in the New Year for residents to support the project with some great and unique rewards.

For information about sponsorship opportunities hello@makehenleyshine.co.uk

Ecology and Heritage Surveys being carried out

8 comments
  1. Peter Brown says:

    Please don’t do this. I grew up in Hart Street. The unlit bridge is a magical place at night. I have many memories- for example, walking across it with carol singers. Why turn it into Piccadilly? It’s Henley. Just don’t do it.

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  2. Kevin James says:

    What do you think that Clive is missing at home to be needing attention so much? At least the Herald keeps it to the facts – without drifting into “By the way. He’s selling his house” (reduced by a mere 1.75 million.) An absolute chancer. The bread and butter of the sub-standard.

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  3. steve dunning says:

    Yes! Brilliant! Lets go for it! When it was lit I went under it at night by boat with a couple of guests who were going to the Rewind Festival and it was simply magical – they said the trip made their weekend. The bridge at the moment is dull, dark and unwelcoming in the long dark winter nights and this would make it look stunning and a real feature. It’s not flashing multicolour displays like Piccadilly circus , these would be a silent discrete enhancement of the the town, just like the lights across the town streets.

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  4. Steve Dunning says:

    Yes! Brilliant! Go for it! When the lights were up I took a couple of guests under the bridge at night in a boat during Rewind, it was magical and they said it made the weekend. The bridge should be our crowning glory but its dark and foreboding in these long winter nights, it should sparkle and be an asset to the town, just like the lights strung across the town centre streets. They’re not coloured and don’t flash and don’t make it look like Piccadilly circus: neither would lights on the bridge.

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  5. Davud Brough says:

    I thought we had too much light pollution already. Why don’t we go the other way and turn more lights off. The bridge is great as it is. Dark is good!

    Reply

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