Vandalised Britannia Bridge plaque hopefully replaced within months

A REPLACEMENT for a plaque on one of the piers of the Britannia Bridge across the Menai Strait will hopefully be installed “in the coming months”.

The plaque, commemorating the beginning of the road crossing in 1978, was noticed as having been vandalised by William Day, of Treborth, during a walk with his wife on December 27.

This is in addition to two other plaques, which were part of the exhibit of the original bridge’s construction on the Gwynedd side of the Menai Strait, which were noticed to have disappeared in late September 2021.

A spokesperson for Network Rail, who is responsible for the site, said: “We are currently discussing details around replacing the plaque with the heritage trust and hoping to get a replacement installed in the coming months.”

North Wales Chronicle: The vandalised plaque, commemorating the commencement of the road crossing in 1978. Photo: William DayThe vandalised plaque, commemorating the commencement of the road crossing in 1978. Photo: William Day

Mr Day, who is the North Wales representative of the Panel for Historic Engineering Works, sent the Chronicle photographs of the damage to the plaque, which “clearly show chisel marks on the plaque itself where the fixings have been hacked off as well as damage to the surrounding stone”.

The bridge has been in existence since the mid-1840s and is now comprised of two tiers, the second of which was opened in 1980.

A fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Mr Day said in response to Network Rail’s statement: “We are all agreed that replacing the plaques is a matter of priority.

“We are also aware of the need to improve the security of the fixings to reduce the risk of this happening again.

“What I would also add most strongly is that the original plaques were historically important as a record of events and as such should be replaced like for like without any alteration or addition in illustration or wording.

“Hence, I see no need for discussion.”

North Wales Chronicle: "These clearly show chisel marks on the plaque itself where the fixings have been hacked off as well as damage to the surrounding stone." Photo: William Day“These clearly show chisel marks on the plaque itself where the fixings have been hacked off as well as damage to the surrounding stone.” Photo: William Day

In October, a spokesperson for Network Rail said: “We have been made aware of one of the commemorative plaques on Britannia Bridge being removed.

“We are already working on replacing the plaque and it will be installed as soon as possible.”

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey