Project Description

The Bideford Bridge Trust contacted, having previously experienced their helpful service, to address the problems they were having with documentation. Firstly, their documents were taking up a great deal of space within a solicitors practice. The second problem was the time taken to find and identify documents that laid out the history and work carried out to the Bridge structure, so they wanted to be able to retrieve documents by reference to name.

The Bideford Bridge Trust in Devon was formed around the time that Bideford’s first wooden bridge was built, 700 years ago, although there are no records earlier than 1555 and no really extensive archives before the 1690s. They held responsibility for the long bridge up until 1968 when the Department of Transport took it on.

The Trust now provides one-off grants to people in need living in Bideford and the immediate neighbourhood, educational grants for books and equipment / instruments, funding for fees for some further and higher education students and business start up grants, as well as providing funds for many community organisations in the local area. Benefitting from the Trust’s generosity last year were 20 sporting groups, 19 churches, 8 village halls, 8 large community benefit schemes along with 83 other smaller groups, without which many would find it hard to continue, highlighting the central role played by the Trust in the life of the area.

The initial scanning requirement was carried out with not a small amount of trepidation on their part, due to the age, fragility and precious historical nature of some of the documents. The documents were scanned, the OCR word search applied and the documents returned in perfect condition. The results were exactly as expected but far higher than the Trusts expectations and they sent a big thank you on the acceptance form.

Peter Sims, one of the Trustees, said:

“they were impressed most by’s prompt communication and efficiency and would happily recommend their services. The next batch of originals is being prepared now and it appears that this will become a regular occurrence, saving them space and time.”

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