Monday, 28 February 2011

Swing Bridges on the River Weaver.....................................................

The River Weaver is over 50 miles long and is crossed by many bridges as it meanders through the Cheshire countryside.
Amongst the many road crossings (many are of a great age) are five road swing bridges which allowed sea going vessels to to reach the chemical and salt works of Northwich and Winsford.

Hayhurst Bridge built in 1898

Hayhurst Bridge built in 1898 is the oldest electronically operating road swing bridge in the U.K.
Town Bridge was completed a year later.
These bridges float on pontoons designed to combat the subsidence due to the extraction of salt beneath the town.

Town Bridge from Hayhurst Bridge

Flooding in Northwich has been a constant problem over the years as the River Dane arrives slap bang in the centre of town to meet the bigger and faster flowing Weaver and in times of heavy rainfall the waters of the Dane just back up and levels rise until it floods the local area.
I will post about the famous flood of 1946 and some more recent ones soon.

Winnington Swing Bridge

A mile or so down the river is the swing bridge built to cross the navigation at Winnington in 1908/9.
Along side it sits the old bridge spanning the original flow of the river.
There  is a commemorative plaque on the old bridge recording the Battle of Winnington Bridge the last skirmish of the English Civil War in 1659 ending in defeat for the royalists.
We do have a lot of firsts and history in my little town the swing bridges, the boat lift and even the first industrially practical polythene (polyethylene) discovered by accident in 1933.
I am sorry to say I live in the town that invented the plastic bag.
Acton Bridge

A couple of miles further along the River Weaver and now entering rural landscape is Acton Bridge.
Built in 1932 and based on the original 1893 design of Colonel John Saner the engineer of the two Northwich bridges.

Sutton Weaver
The last of the swing bridges is at Sutton Weaver just outside the lovely town of Frodsham which was completed in the 1920's.
Recent maintenance on the bridges has been done on the first four
 Sutton Weaver as far as I know still awaits its fate.


Gary said...

Really, a well done and interesting post Andrew. I might have omitted the plastic bag, as surely it was the worst invention in the world. Boom & Gary of The Vermilon River, Canada.

grammie g said...

HI Andrew...truly fascinating post about these bridges and the way they function and there purpose!!
The 1st are very interesting..plastic bags...well.. not much you can do about that!!
I also enjoyed the content of your comment above too!!
Placky bags and slap bang..I love the way you put words lol ♥

Sondra said...

I love the bridges...I watched one in action last fall when I visited Beaufort on the coast of SC.....sorry bout the plastic bags tho--thats a real bummer-I use cloth MOST of the time... for every 5 bags we bring home it raises our carbon footprint by 1kg of CO2--

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

A fabulous post about a wonderful walk! I love this. Beautiful pictures and lots of food for thought. Thanks for taking me along.

jo©o said...

Never knew there were so many of these cumbersome bridges still left. I do hope they find the money to keep up the repair.

Lorac said...

Thanks for directing me here Andrew! Very cool bridges,lovely river! I have to chuckle at how many towns here are named after towns in England. Acton is just up the road, Sutton is about an hour away. Dorset is where my cottage is and so on..There are many more!