Clarence Mill footbridge was opened by Cllr Mrs Margaret Simon, Mayor of Cheshire East, on a grey and damp Saturday morning, the 29th August 2009. Most of those who have been involved with the bridge from inception, negotiation, through design, construction and fund raising were joined by a large crowd of Bollington residents to celebrate the new bridge.
Warm words of congratulation and thanks were expressed by Mrs Simon, Cllr Mrs Shirly Sockett, Mayor of Bollington, Mrs Sandra Edwards, Chairman of Bollington Civic Society, and Rupert Beckwith-Moore,Managing Director Clarence Mill Ltd. Generous applause was given in recognition of the contributions to this project made by Graham Barrow, Bollington Civic Society, Noel James, CEC Bridge Engineer, Richard Doran, CEC Countryside Officer and Project Manager, Roy Winnard and Dave Pennington, Roy Winnard Building Services who erected the bridge, and Rupert Beckwith-Moore.
After enjoying a crossing of the bridge, and the excellent new views it offers of the canal and Clarence Mill, the invited quests retired to the Waterside Café to refreshments of morning coffee and a very fine collation of cakes and pastries.
At last, after seven years of frustration, the footbridge across the canal at Clarence Mill, Bollington, is finally in place. Work started on Tuesday 19th May 2009 and took fifteen weeks. The project was carried out under the management of Richard Doran (left), Cheshire East Council (CEC) Countryside Officer, without whose persistence and tenacity this bridge would never have been built.
The bridge project has been strongly supported from the outset by Bollington Civic Society and the immense effort undertaken by Graham Barrow (right) in obtaining the necessary grants and keeping the relevant authorities on side must certainly be recognised.
The long and arduous story of this project may one day be told, but for now let us just celebrate the opening of this most valuable new facility on the Bollington landscape – we can finally cross the canal without getting our feet wet!
Saturday 29th August 2009, the opening
|Cllr Mrs Margaret Simon, Mayor Cheshire East Council, cuts the ribbon!|
|A big crowd of residents came to support the project. Many of these live up Clarence Road and in Clarence Mill and this bridge will at last give them quick and easy access to the recreational facilites of the canal towpath and the Recreation Ground without having to start and finish each outing along Clarence Road and Palmerston Street.|
|Cllr Mrs Shirley Sockett, Mayor of Bollington, (left) and Mrs Sandra Edwards, Chairman Bollington Civic Society, give their addresses.|
The crowd enjoy their first crossing of the bridge while the guests stood for the moment to be recorded.
Top row, left to right – Sir Nicholas Winterton DL MP, Mr Rupert Beckwith-Moore, Clarence Mill Ltd.
Front row – Mrs Sandra Edwards, Chairman Bollington Civic Society, Cllr Mrs Margaret Simon, Cllr Mrs Shirley Sockett, Mayor of Bollington, Mr Martin Sockett, Mayor’s Consort.
Dave Pennington (left) and Roy Winnard who have so skilfully erected the bridge over the past fifteen weeks. They have been an absolute joy to have around and have made so many friends.
|The sun broke through just as the public tried out the new bridge for the first time.|
|Graham Barrow and Richard Doran discuss the great success of the day. The worst of the rain kept off, it wasn’t too cold, all the guests arrived on time, there was considerable public support and the refreshments were delicious!|
I know that this page is being monitored by at least a couple of folk from distant places, like Detroit and Canada. Please email me if you are watching this construction from afar and tell me why it is so interesting to you! I’ll list all respondents here …
“I guess we count as among those monitoring the building of the bridge from abroad. We are living in Victoria, British Columbia but we only left Bollington at the beginning of March. We still have our house on Wellington Road so we feel very attached to what is happening there.
“The bridge looks good and will be an excellent improvement to the access to the mill. I don’t think it affects any of the walks we did that went past the Clarence but excellent for visitors starting walks from the Discovery Centre . It will be great for the coffee shop and other businesses. The only downside is that the great view of the mill from the towpath near the aqueduct will be changed. In a few decades no one will know.
“We will be watching to see it develop and how it looks when finished.”
Steve, Hilary and Ben Brown (ex Bollington residents)
“Hi, with my roots in Macclesfield and Bollington I have been following with fascination on the excellent Happy Valley web site the progress of your new bridge over the Macclesfield canal.
“Cousin Graham keeps me up to speed and the next time I come over the pond I will check to see the finished article.”
Hilary Wootton, Guelph, Ontario – Canada