Sunday, 6 March 2016

An invitation declined

Some of our readers may have scanned the photos of Rupert And Jerry’s wedding hoping to see a glimpse of us in the background.  Jan and I did consider accepting the invitation but in the end decided to wait for Rupert’s next wedding!

Halfie (nb Jubilee) left three questions on Thursday’s post.

  1. Did you discover evidence of the transporter bridge? When we were last in Runcorn a few years ago we found a café with lots of information and photographs.
  2. Are the mystery battlemented towers there to add weight and stability to the bridge support?
  3. Oh - and did you find the house at the bottom of one of the old flights of locks with fake windows?

He has beaten me to the post because some of the answers were collected during yesterday’s walk and I’d intended to mention them today.

Youngest son and I decided to take a long walk over the Silver Jubilee Bridge and visit the St Helens Canal on the north bank of the River Mersey.  We started by walking to the end of the Bridgewater Canal and making our way up onto the bridge approach.  There is a cycle and footpath on the upstream side of the bridge.


Canal end

The answer to Halfie’s 2nd question is the castellated tops to the piers are decorative.  The southern bridge abutment was built on the site of an ancient Saxon fort constructed in 915 on the order of Queen Ethelfleda which is why the designer added the castellated tops. 


There are large plaques on the southern and northern abutments.  The southern end has the Coat of Arms of London and the northern end the Liver Bird of Liverpool

There wasn’t much foot traffic and only one bike during our crossing.  Probably not surprising as it was cold, wet and windy.


We did notice the last few remains of the Transporter Bridge (Question 1).  Actually I remember crossing the Mersey using the Transporter Bridge when my parents used it during our trip to Scotland in 1958.  If you don’t know what the Transporter Bridge was then follow this link.


Photo from Google Images

The last of the remains of the Transporter Bridge are in the middle far left of the photo below.  Note also the difference in water levels between the Mersey on the left and the Manchester Ship Canal on the right.  In the distance the piers of the new Gateway Bridge are slowly rising.



Looking back from the north bank.  We took the riverside footpath around to the entrance of the St Helen’s Canal where there is a tidal lock at the entrance.  Yachts and small fishing boats moored above the lock.  No sign of narrowboats!


To the right of the lock is a disused basin which we assume must have been part of a bustling waterfront a hundred years ago.  There was an information board beside the lock stating the area to the right of the lock was once the site of numerous chemical industries.  The land has now been turned into public parkland.

Walking along the canal towpath we reached a swing bridge beyond which we could see the construction of the northern approaches to the new Gateway Bridge.


Off to the right there was a low temporary roadway across the estuary which provides access to the three concrete piers currently under constructions.


The northern approach piers have been completed.

P1020479The three main piers.

The following is an extract from the Waterway Routes canal map of the area.

St Helens CanalLeft arrow – location of the remains of the Transporter Bridge abutment.  Middle – Tidal lock.  Right arrow – swing bridge.

On our wayback over the Silver Jubilee Bridge we noticed the two men in the photo below walking around on the mudflats and wondered what they were doing?


Halfie, we didn’t see the house with the fake windows!


Halfie said...

The fake windows are so good that it's possible you might not have realised! They are on the Doll's House - see here:

Tom and Jan said...

I think we walked in the opposite direction to the former locks. Pity as I would have liked to see them!