Bristol Museums Development Trust

Restore M Shed's cargo cranes

The four electric cranes outside M Shed are an iconic part of the Bristol skyline. Unfortunately time is taking its toll on them and they are showing significant signs of deterioration. They need urgent conservation, including a full repaint.
raised of £35,000 target
by 128 supporters
RCN 1137777

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UPDATE: We did it! Thank you for all your donations. Keep an eye out on the harbourside and you'll see that we've started to paint the cranes. You can still donate if you'd like to - all donations will go towards the future care of the cranes.

We'd like to extend a huge thank you to The Bristol Port Company, BIAS (Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society) and Stowe Family Law. These local organisations have all made generous donations towards the conservation of the cranes and we're extremely grateful for their support.

We're also thrilled that our applications for funding to the Enovert Community Trust and The Pilgrim Trust have been successful. Thank you to the trustees of both organisations for recognising the historic significance of our cranes.

UPDATE 2: If you have taken a stroll around the harbour lately you may have noticed that we have temporarily closed the walkway outside M Shed and moved all four cranes closer together.

This is because we have begun the process of preparation and painting to conserve these wonderful landmarks.

This project started following a detailed report from our Conservation and Documentation Manager, Frances Coles. She identified that the cranes were showing significant signs of deterioration. They were last painted in 2004 and required urgent attention.

Rust is the enemy of riveted steel structures like these. They depend upon a well-applied, protective paint scheme to prevent corrosion. If rust is able to form and build up between the riveted surfaces, it could blow the joint apart. Not the future we want for our four iconic friends!

To prevent this from happening, all four cranes are now undergoing a full repaint with specialist primer and paint. An experienced team have been assigned as they are using commercial cherry pickers to reach the highest points. You may have already seen them out and about doing this work. Give them a wave if they see you watching!

As the M Shed cranes are located on the busy Harbourside, it is essential that the work is done considerately and carefully for the protection of humans, wildlife and our environment. We hope to finish by mid-June Great British weather permitting!

Were so thankful to everyone who supported our campaign to raise the funds to complete this project. We look forward to completing the conservation work and once again opening this walkway so we can all stroll beneath these metal giants, marvel at their presence and appreciate their history.

You can still donate if you would like to - all donations will go towards the future care of the cranes.

About the charity

Bristol Museums Development Trust raises funds to support the work of Bristol’s museums and archives, including Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, M Shed, The Red Lodge Museum, The Georgian House Museum, Blaise Museum and Bristol Archives.

Donation summary

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+ £1,068.75 Gift Aid
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