The Friends of the Union Chain Bridge


Robert Hunter, Chairman

Initially trained as a solicitor and for the last 19 years an investment manager.    From 2002-2004 Trustee and briefly acting Heritage Director of the Wentworth Castle Trust. During this period the Trust raised over £12m for the restoration of South Yorkshire’s only Grade 1 landscape garden.

Owner of a small 18th Century landscape garden listed Grade2* in Yorkshire ( Plumpton Rocks) and from 2013 to 2017 co-ordinated the  comprehensive restoration of the garden through a combination of funding from private donors, Historic England, Natural England and the Country Houses Foundation.    2017 assisted fund raising for the Royal Faberge Exhibition, Sainsbury Centre, Norwich        ( open Oct 2017 to Feb 2018)

October 2017 appointed to the Council of the National Trust.

Martha Andrews

Has an interest in all things historical and many years experience in the cultural sector.  Has successfully sought grant funding for a diverse range of projects.

Robert Bulling, Honorary Treasurer

Former Clerk of the Privy Council and private client lawyer. Created The Prince’s Trust and the Duke of Edinburgh Award in their present form and has advised numerous other national and local charities.

Edward Cawthorn, Honorary Secretary

Retired local government officer and solicitor.  Honorary Secretary of Trust since inception. Before formation of the Trust, campaigned through MP for 10 years to highlight and address the neglect of the Union Bridge.    Honorary Secretary of Berwick Parish Church Trust since 1992 – raised over £1m from heritage funders for repair and restoration of Grade I Cromwellian Commonwealth church.  Honorary Secretary of Eastern Borders Development Association since 1982, administering awards for economic, social, environmental excellence in north Northumberland and the eastern borders.

Thomas Cockburn

Has lived in Horncliffe all his life; married with 2 children and 1 grandchild.  Is a member of varies village organisations and  was on the Hall Committee and the Parish Council for some 30years, also a church elder for 6 years. Has undertaken various fundraising events – for the village hall, a race night in the 1980’s which raised money for improvements to the hall and numerous dances over the years for the upkeep; a Country Fare held at the Chain Bridge which raised over £5000 split between the Church, the Village Hall and the League of Friends; a party which raised £600 for the Mayoress’s Charity which was the Alzheimer’s Society.  Recently for the Friends of The Chain Bridge – a gala dinner and a day of helicopter flights raising over £7000  As a trustee of Union Chain Bridge, passionate to see the Bridge restored and that its historical and engineering history is not forgotten, particularly as his grandparents were the last people to occupy the Toll House on the English side of the Chain Bridge.

Georgina Home Robertson

Trustee on the Berwick Preservation Trust for over forty years, founder trustee of the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge.

John Home Robertson

Has lived at Paxton for 69 years, and he ran the farm at Paxton South Mains until he was elected MP for Berwickshire and East Lothian in 1978. He was in elected office as a councillor, then MP, then MSP for more than thirty years.

Established the Paxton Trust in 1988 as a heritage charity endowed by the National Heritage Memorial Fund to preserve Paxton House with its contents and grounds for the benefit of the public.. As a Paxton trustee, and as the former owner of Paxton House, he has some experience of the management of a heritage property.

Since retiring from the Scottish Parliament in 2007, John has undertaken the construction or comprehensive renovation of five houses and also worked in areas of conflict and natural disaster as a volunteer with Edinburgh Direct Aid. He has also taken an active interest in local history and archaeology around Paxton – including the Union Chain Bridge.

Most recently, he has led a successful initiative for the Paxton Trust to comprehensively research and restore the historic water supply system for Paxton House (a waterwheel-driven beam pump dating from the 1790s). That industrial heritage project has attracted funding from the HLF as well as windfarm and landfill funds.

 Alexander McGregor

As a member of staff of the National Trust for Scotland. supervised  all NTS countryside and mountain properties. Trained in mountain leadership and safety. Ttraining Manager for NTS Ranger Service in collaboration with the Countryside Commission for Scotland.  Participated in educational visits / exchanges with USA Parks Services (Adirondacks Park).

With Scottish Tourist Board was Area Manager – liaison with Area Tourist Boards throughout Scotland; set up training schemes for (i) Area Tourist Board staff and (ii) tourist guides; liaised and met regularly with English Tourist Board, British Tourist Authority and the Scottish Office Edinburgh – Roads and Transport re various tourism initiatives.

Lecturer in Tourism at Higher Education Colleges, Edinburgh; and  Course assessor, SCOTVEC (Scottish Vocational Educational Council).

In Athletics, Team Manager, Scottish International Team (unsalaried)

Member – Planning representative, Hutton & Paxton Community Council

David Osman

Retired banker who spent most of his career as a front-office currency and currency derivatives trader, in London, Frankfurt, Wellington (NZ)  and Tokyo. In later years he set up and ran a successful training operation within the NatWest framework.

In addition to his involvement with the Union Chain Bridge, he and his wife have actively supported the fund-raising of the Royal Overseas League and the Order of St John, including the provision and preparation of funding lunches for both entities.

He has been a member of the church board of Paxton, Hutton and Fishwick ( Church of Scotland), and of the Parochial Church Council (Church of England)  at Norham, as well as a member of the Hutton and Paxton Community Council.