Bridges of sighs

The bridges of Bath play an incredibly important part in daily life but you only miss them when they are not there. A bit obvious, but, for example, it seems nobody in high places had even heard of Victoria Bridge until it got so worn out it was decided to shut it indefinitely. Cue protests from the hundreds of ‘ordinary’ people who use it every day (and every night…it passes by my bedroom window and groups of inebriated young ladies seem to find it hilarious to tap dance across it in the wee hours). Luckily it was found to be an important historic monument as well as an essential artery for those who rely on feet instead of 4×4’s, and it has been reopened temporarily. Rumour has it I might be cut off from Homebase for a whole year during the impending bridgeworks!

Just downstream I can see the Destructor Bridge which is about to be replaced with a modern arched structure. ‘The Coat Hanger’ they reckon it will be called. I rather hope it keeps its current somewhat superhero nomenclature.

And I hope a use is found for the oversize baroque brackets that currently adorn it. Holding up Ha’penny Bridge perhaps? This poor old structure, on which for years those of us with an interest in the betterment of Widcombe have been begging for action, is to be closed for a full twelve weeks for restoration. Appropriately enough from April 1st!

Well, it would have been nice to have been informed. Even the chap living in the toll house on the bridge itself didn’t know until I told him.

Twelve weeks seems a ludicrously long time, and could spell disaster for the local traders. Not to mention the organisers of the up and coming Comedy Festival, who, in an attempt to bolster the area’s regeneration, have programmed many of their events to take place there. Plus Widcombe’s Natural Theatre is hosting a week-long project for actors who are wheelchair users. What a nice introduction to our beautiful city as they trundle round the complicated rubbish-strewn recommended alternative route from the railway station!

Several thousand maps have been distributed to possible patrons of these two events showing Ha’penny Bridge as the main access. Thanks guys! To whom do we send our compensation claims?

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