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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

KINDERTON-MIDDLEWICH FOOTBRIDGE REMAINS 1974


Now here's an elusive bit of  bygone Middlewich  from 1974. The slide looks slightly ever-exposed, but this is because we've lightened it up somewhat to bring out the detail of the blue brick. It's the last remains of one end of a footbridge which once spanned the River Croco and Trent & Mersey Canal and carried people from Kinderton to Middlewich via Seabank. On the retaining wall between canal and river there's another, smaller, section of blue brick   lining up with the bottom of Seabank and the top part of this now-vanished structure, which stood just to the left of the British Waterways warehouse building. This brick section would have supported the bridge as it spanned both waterways, and is now the only remaining clue that there was ever a bridge here. The sloping part of the blue brick bridge abutment will be where steps once led up to the footbridge itself. This is the route of the original road from Kinderton to Middlewich when the two were separate townships Before the coming of the canal this road would have crossed the River Croco which, as we've seen elsewhere, once 'meandered all over the valley bottom' before being channelled alongside the canal to act as an overflow, by a small bridge or possibly even a ford. The fact that the structure is of blue engineering brick suggests that it was built by the canal company. There have been suggestions that the footbridge may have been built to provide a link between the railway station and the town wharf but, in that case, surely a full sized bridge capable of carrying traffic would have been more useful?
Does anyone have information on when this footbridge was built and taken down?  A photograph of it, framed by the last remnants of the old Town Bridge can be seen on page 38 of Profiles of Middlewich by Alan Earl  (CC Publishing 2006) and  it can be glimpsed on an old aerial shot taken in the 1920s. The probability is that it became redundant when the new Town Bridge was built in 1931 and the main route from Kinderton to Middlewich was simplified and straightened.
The rear of the Wesleyan Methodist chapel looms over the wall in the top half of the shot. 
(Dave Griffiths contacted us (see comment below) to say that he thinks that the building doing the looming is not the Wesleyan Chapel but the CofE Infants School. At first I thought he was right, but, after studying this photo:



I decided that the buildings shown are indeed part of the old Chapel and that the school was a little over to the right. We're open to argument, as always, though. What do you think? -Ed)
Although a section of the original salt works wall is still in place next to the warehouse building, there is a gaping hole where this staircase construction was. A little further along (in the direction of Brooks Lane), even the wall has gone, to be replaced by a very low wooden fence, behind which is the lawned area below the Salinae Centre.

1 comment:

  1. It states 'the rear of the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel' is seen over the wall. It looks very much to me as though it's the rear of the old Infant's School, from what I remember it as from the playground.

    ReplyDelete

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