TWO historic bridges at Warrington have been nominated for a newly-established heritage award.
They are the 100-year-old Crosfield Transporter Bridge at Bank Quay and the even older Woolston Eyes Footbridge.
The Institution of Civil Engineers North West has introduced the new award this year to celebrate historic civil engineering features that people and communities know and love. The award will complement the Institution’s annual awards which are already held to showcasethe best of the region’s new civil engineering work.
The Transporter Bridge, will be 100 years old later this year, and is one of only a handful left in the world.
It has a fascinating history, from transporting cement rail wagons, workers and trucks to being used as a fire watching post during the Second World War.
It is said to be the only rail transporter bridge among eight transporter bridges left in the world.
It is Grade 2* listed on English Heritage’s “At Risk” Register.
Margaret Ingham, chairman of the Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge (FOWTB), said: “This is a great boost for our campaign to make the Transporter Bridge better known and more appreciated in the North West. We are holding a centenary day for the bridge in September. It would be the icing on the cake to win and display the award on the day.”
Cllr Terry O’Neill, leader of Warrington Borough Council, said: “It’s great to see a Warrington landmark being recognised in this way. Warrington is very proud of its civil engineering heritage and we welcome the nomination. Hopefully it will take us another step closer to securing external heritage funds in order to protect the future of the bridge.”
The Woolston Eyes Footbridge – reckoned the oldest surviving bridge of its type in England – has also been nominated for the award.
The bridge in Thelwall Lane, which has been described as an extremely important example of Victorian civil engineering.
Brian Duguid, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, said: “Woolston Eyes Footbridge is built of wrought-iron trestles on cast-iron cylinder supports, and it’s believed to be the oldest surviving unaltered cable-stayed bridge anywhere in England.
“Apart from being highly significant in civil engineering terms, this footbridge is also locally very important because it provides the only access to Woolston Eyes nature reserve.”
Judging will take place later this month.