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It was with the Engineers Mott MacDonald, in 1995 that Peter Lennard first saw the large vacant space and historic vaults available within the southern abutment of London Bridge, and the first sketch designs were then worked for creating a London Bridge Museum in this span.
Initial designs for the project were worked up and this generated an enthusiastic response from many parties, with a grant being given by the Corporation of London towards producing a full Feasibility Study for the scheme. For this stage a team of top professionals was assembled and the project was presented to the Corporation at the end of 1996.
Also in 1996, the scheme was also presented to Mayor Hileman of Lake Havasu City when he came over on an official visit to the Lord Mayor of London. Lake Havasu City in Arizona is home to the 1831 Sir John Rennie Bridge and the centre-piece of their community. It was transported there in 1968-1971 by the McCulloch Corporation when the present London Bridge was built, thereby saving this historic structure for posterity.
During 1997 the variants on the first schemes were narrowed down into one layout and the project was then submitted for Planning Permission with both the Corporation of London and Southwark Council.
Further design improvements were made during this period. involving a close collaboration with the City of London Access Group to ensure free circulation for mobility impaired visitors. Planning Permissions were granted in 1998, and this stage was kindly sponsored by Pricewaterhousecoopers.
In 1999, the Planning Permission scheme was finalised by the Professional Team and recosted
with this exercise funded by the Corporation of London.
In 2000, a full Business Plan was produced by the Grant Leisure Group with the costs funded by the Pool of London Partnership. A Board of Trustees was assembled from the main bodies involved in the scheme, to include representatives from the Corporation of London. Southwark Council, the Pool of London Partnership, the Port of London Authority, St Martins Property Corporation Limited. Lake Havasu City, the Bridge Ward Club, and other parties including the Dean of Southwark Cathedral, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Architects, plus Leonard Groome, a former City Engineer, and Peter Jackson, the artist and historian.
In the autumn of 2000, the Trust's Solicitors. Farrer & Co. completed the registration of the Trust as a Company Limited by Guarantee and as a Charity, and the Trust was able to have its first full Board Meeting at the Guildhall in London, chaired by Sir Peter Gadsden a former Lord Mayor of London 1979-1981.
In 2001, the first Funding Drive produced generous gifts from several well-known firms and organisations to produce the trusts documentation, the headed paper, and a brochure/folder. The money also funded the launch of the first educational website on the history of London Bridge.
In 2002, the Trust finalised its brochures and documentation ready for launching its team fundraising drive for detailed work for the assembled design team - including a new 'Museum' brochure. The Trust Surveyor started to discuss with Bridge House Estates, the use of the London Bridge vaults for the Museum and to draw up a Draft Heads of Terms.
In 2003, the Trust were able to instruct Connell Mott McDonald to prepare a site services survey in collaboration with the Corporation of London, and the Fishmonger's Company sponsored the production of a new 'History of London Bridge' brochure and the Mercers' Company sponsored a Business Plan Resume. The Pool of London Partnership funded an update of the Trust's website.
In 2004, The Fishmongers' Company sponsored additionally an A1 poster for schools on the history of London Bridge, and the Trust held an exhibition at the Guildhall, plus a series of associated lectures at various City and Southwark venues. The Trust Surveyor's Team started negotiations for the premises with Bridge House Estates.
In 2005, with the sponsorship of the Pool of London Partnership, an educational DVD-Rom on the History of London Bridge was produced with additional funds in from HSBC, Tate & Lyle and PWC.
In 2006, with the sponsorship of the Fishmongers' Company, a PowerPoint lecture CD on the History of London Bridge was produced with six variants for schools up to professional presentations.
The intended full layout of the London Bridge Museum is envisaged to be ready to open towards 2012, the year of the London Olympics. In the meanwhile, the Trust is working on opening an earlier proto-museum in the area towards 2009, being the 800th anniversary of the opening in 1209 of the famous Peter de Colechurch bridge.

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