Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Missing that old bridge

My old bridge circa 1940s
I cannot even begin to count the number of times I walked under the railway bridge which spanned Well Hall Road.

But then why should I?

It had carried trains across the road from 1895 and continued to do so for 90 years and I just took it for granted.

And then in 1985 as part of the construction of the relief road and the new station it was replaced by a new bridge which is a functional no nonsense bit of railway architecture and it lacks the style of the one I remember with those columns that adorn the upper part of the bridge and the brackets with their detailed wheels.

Detail of that bridge
Perhaps after those 90 years it had had its day but it is one of those little examples of how function can have style.

The picture dates to sometime after the last war but is pretty much as I remember it.

Go back a couple of decades and there were large hoardings underneath the bridge along with more on the embankment and a poster which ran right across the upper section.

And then it all changed again and now it has gone completely.

A new bridge 2015
I don’t suppose it matters over much but points to that simple observation that we take things for granted.

All of the shops beyond the bridge have changed since that tram trundled past although some further up by the Pleasaunce were operated by the same families when I walked up Well Hall Road.

So not an earth shattering bit of our history but still a bit of it.

Pictures; Well Hall bridge, circa 1940s, from the collection of A J Watkins, reproduced from Eltham and Woolwich Tramways and the new bridge 2014, from the collection of Chrissy Rose

*Eltham and Woolwich Tramways, Robert J Harley, Middleton Press, 1996, https://www.middletonpress.co.uk/

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