The Ferry Bridge

10postcard back 2 2A postcard from home, taken during an evening stroll by the nearby river Trent. In fact, we crossed the Trent via the Ferry Bridge, a familiar landmark to all Burtonians. The bridge leads to a walkway, Stapenhill Viaduct, which links Burton town centre to the suburb of Stapenhill, around half a mile on the other side of the river.

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Before the bridge was built, the only way across the river at that point was by a small ferry.  The bridge was gifted to the town in 1889 by the brewer, Michael Arthur Bass.

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Around that time the population of Burton was growing rapidly, mainly due to the expansion of the brewing industry. The Ferry Bridge must have been welcomed and appreciated by the large number of brewery workers who lived on one side of the river but worked on the other side. They could finally cross the river free of toll.  (Not such good news for the ferryman).

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The bridge is described as a semi-suspension bridge. It was the first of its kind in Europe to be built to this design and possibly the only one remaining. It is made of wrought iron and cast iron, and is Grade II listed. Two or three years ago it was completely refurbished.

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It is still used by hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists every day. A real turn-around is that cycling across the bridge was strictly prohibited when the bridge was first build until quite recently. Those who ignored the warnings ran the risk of a fine of forty shillings (£2.00) in the early days, which eventually rose to £10 before the rule was finally abolished. Now, a narrow cycle lane is marked and this is part of National Cycle Route 63.

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The viaduct part of the walkway is necessary as it crosses the Trent Washlands, an area which can be very wet and boggy and in fact floods from time to time.

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At the Stapenhill side of the river are the Stapenhill Gardens, an area very popular with residents. Locals will tell you this is the largest swan in England!

14 thoughts on “The Ferry Bridge

  1. What a great blog!
    I noticed you clicked follow on the Forty Five site and thought I should drop by.
    I really like the postcard theme and the virtual postcards in each post are a really lovely touch. You’ve some great photos and it was a joy to discover your site.
    Over the last 12 years or so I have made over 100 real postcards from my photography. A part of making them is in the hope people will enjoy sending and receiving the cards. Not so much a commercial venture as reminder of the joys of receiving real postcards. I usually carry a few with me and should I spark up a conversation with a stranger while I am out with my camera I will often pass them a postcard or two.
    Should you be interested to see my main photo site it is at https://postcardcafe.wordpress.com
    Keep up the great work on this site and I will look forward to your future posts…
    Have a great weekend
    Best wishes
    Mr C 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for your encouraging comments Mr. C! I like your idea of actual postcards to send or give away. I was led to your site when Dave Whenham mentioned the 9 in 45 challenge which I would like to try sometime. Now following your blogs and look forward to future posts. Kind regards, John

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      1. I will look forward to seeing your your 9in45 and if you are agreeable they could be included on the site? For me the challenge of 9 in 45 is as much about the actual challenge as the images. Inspired by Dave’s 9 in mono I headed out yesterday to do my first 9 in B&W and it felt like quite a different challenge from doing it in colour. It’s something I hadn’t really considered until Dave posted his. Once again I felt rewarded for having done the challenge and along the way learned a few things. Hope its as sunny there as it is here in Sheffield, Enjoy your Sunday. Best wishes, Mr C 🙂

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