Tuesday, 24 March 2009

ABC Wednesday - J

J is for Jubilee

The first Jubilee is Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee of 1898. Above is my grandmother's medal which has the national anthem on the back. It did have pin and red ribbon attached but this has deteriorated over the last hundred plus years.

The second Jubilee is the story of a bridge that was needed to link the town of Barrow to the island of Walney. In 1897 a public meeting was held to discuss a possible bridge being constructed and mark it as a suitable way to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria. It did not happen and the ferry continued to carry people across.

The town and the population of Walney was growing but the Furness Railway Company were against any form of bridging Walney Channel , probably because they were the operators of the steam ferry service although their public objection was focused on navigation of the channel to shipping, hence why to this day there is an opening span to the bridge centre.

Eventually Walney Bridge was built at a cost of £175,000 and opened officially in July 1908 but to pay for this it operated as a toll bridge.

When the bridge was released from charge and handed over to the townspeople in 1935 a ceremony was carried out by the Duchess of York (mother of the current Queen Elizabeth). The bridge was officially renamed Jubilee Bridge.Above is the medal struck to commemorate the event with the mayor's name on it.

To bring us up to date here is the bridge today taken with the tide out. It was refurbished for its Centenary Year and its electric blue paint (which I rather liked) has been put back to the original black and grey.

The view from the other side with daffodils
Below you can see the control houses in the middle which operate the rack and pinion system used to swing the bridge open. The large grey building in the background is is Devonshire Dock Hall where the Trident Submarines are constructed. In the past boats would be launched into Walney Channel,which had to be dredged regularly, but these vessels are much too big and are ship lifted by a syncrolift with a lifting capacity of 24,000 tonnes into the dock.
Jubilee Bridge carries a lot of traffic as it is the only link to the island from the mainland unless you want to brave the slippy steps on foot at low tide. I think these are only for true Walneyites because as you see it is a very muddy channel with a tide which runs with great force. There is now a pressure group that wants to build a second bridge but whether that will ever happen who knows.

Join the Jollification of more Js at Mrs Nesbit's ABC Wednesday


richies said...

Thanks for the lovely walk through history

An Arkies Musings

Tumblewords: said...

How interesting - and the photos are wonderful.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Wonderful post and great with a bit of history.
This is one of the amazing things about ABC, you learn new things every Wednesday!

Take care and have a great spring J day.


Jay said...

Those are good 'J's - and I love those last two photos! The one with the daffodils is a great composition and the rusty boat in the foreground of the other one rather steals the show!

Rinkly Rimes said...

They were certainly fond of medals in those days!

By the way, thanks for your comment on the poor old prawn. (Maybe some choose burial!)

And the Spring picture of the lane makes me want to walk along it. But 24000 miles is rather a long trip!