A Letter from Nantwich

April 2008                                                                                                                                 

The new bridge is lifted into place by a large crane.

Picture: Nantwich Town Council (my thanks to them).




Far left: two pedestrians route their walk over the new bridge towards St Anne's Lane and Welsh Row.

Bridging the gap in town

TWO parts of Nantwich have been linked by a new footbridge which was lifted into place in time for the 12th Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music Festival over the Easter weekend.

   It was, of course, possible to get between the town centre and Welsh Row before, but now it is much more direct - particularly if you have parked on the St Anne's Lane car park off Welsh Row and are going to the Nantwich Food and Drink Festival in September.

   More importantly, it makes the car park one of town centre ones!

   (During the music festival there are so many venues for gigs that every car park is near to several places.)

   Having parked your car, or walked in from one of the pubs and food establishments in the street across the


the edge of the car park, a quick walk over the footbridge and you soon find yourself on Mill Island - venue of some of the town events - or walking up Mill Street into town. For the Wood Street car park off the other side of  Welsh Row, the new bridge isn't much use. In fact, it would be out of your way.

   In that case you would walk across the old stone bridge (vehicles and pedestrians, this time) over the Weaver at the junction of Welsh Row, High Street and the Waterlode. This is believed to have had a chantry chapel built astride it in the old days.

    Beverley Cope, Project Manager of Nantwich Now Market Town Project, confirmed that her organisation had sourced around £132,000 for the new bridge, working in partnership with Rural Enterprise, Nantwich Riverside Project Team, Cheshire County Council Engineering section, Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council and the Weaver Valley team at Backford, Chester.

   She added: "We are currently sourcing funds to replace a large chunk of the old railings on the Mill Island side and this is looking positive.

   ''This will ensure that the ‘grotty section’ near the weir area will look much better and we will be able to remove the unsightly barriers that are currently in place (and have been for some time).

   "New lighting will also be inserted along, and by, the bridge and landscaping will take place to tidy the area up generally."

   While I was taking these pictures, a man in a wheelchair approached the new bridge but stopped before crossing it. (The approach is a little steeper on the Mill Island side as that land is lower than the car park side, where the approach is more level.) "Oh dear," I said. "Is it causing you problems?" But he replied "No, I am just inspecting the workmanship. I used to be in the trade."





The new footbridge seen on the side away from the town centre. This is before the grass took root in the area.








A similar view - from the bridge itself this time. You are looking towards the Waterlode in the far distance, Before it, in the mid distance, is the junction of the river on its original route where it rejoins the water which flowed straight on at the weir and through the mill area. For another view of that junction, see the News page.


THE previous new river crossing in town was the Thomas Fairfax Bridge, named after the English Civil War Parliamentarian Army hero who lifted the siege of Nantwich in 1644. Erected in 2003, it carries the Waterlode over the River Weaver near to the Swimming Baths.

lSee this Letter from Nantwich reporting the Riverside scheme in 2005.

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