St. Mary’s Pedestrian Bridge Project Appeal
2017 is the 125th Anniversary of our very beautiful (Grade ll Listed) Victorian bridge sitting in the Lydney Conservation Area. Historic England listing states ‘This a very complete survival, elegant and of great economy in engineering design.’
1962/3 Photo’s: Bob Marrow
It is now 10 years, January 2007, since a state of disrepair resulted in a Gloucestershire Council Notice of Temporary Emergency Bridge / Footpath Closure and inclusion in the FoDDC Buildings at Risk Register but St. Mary’s Bridge is as much needed today as when originally built.
Photo: Roger Phelps
St. Mary’s Footbridge is an important local icon and amenity, as well as being historically important to DFR as the last remaining piece of original Severn & Wye Railway infrastructure. However, it is likely to cost in the region of £150,000 to restore and repair it, preserving it for the benefit, appreciation and enjoyment of future generations. With the significant support, here in Lydney, we are launching an appeal to local businesses and people raising funds towards the bridge’s restoration. The more we can raise, the more chance we have of securing contributions from funding sources, so every pound counts.’
If you have any historic images of …if you have any memories that you are happy to share…if you would write a ‘Letter of Support’ for Dean Forest Railway: ‘St. Mary’s Pedestrian Bridge’ Project please email [email protected] and of course, if you would like to donate please do so, if you can, before 29th September!
You can donate by making a cheque payable to the Dean Forest Railway Co. Ltd. and sending it to:
Dean Forest Railway c/o St. Mary’s Bridge Appeal
Norchard Station, Forest Road, Lydney Gloucestershire GL15 4ET
Or you can donate via paypal by clicking below:
The History of St. Mary’s Bridge
‘The cast iron lattice footbridge just beyond Churchfield occupation level crossing was first opened to the public on 26th September 1892. It was provided to combat the ‘serious trespass that has grown up by the workmen and others walking over the company’s railway between the engine shed and tinplate sidings and the church, the excuse being that the coal trains standing on the company’s railway opposite the church prevented them from using the public footpath through the churchyard and crossing the railway at that point’. The structure was ordered from Messrs. G. Smith & Co. of Glasgow who were to deliver and erect it for £247, the S&W preparing the foundations. The cost was in fact exceeded by £20 when it was found necessary to increase the span and lengthen the stairs.
The bridge was a great source of attraction to the local children who were apparently in the habit of sliding down the handrails, and in 1901 the Lydney local authorities pointed out the potential danger of the culprits falling off and becoming impaled on the iron railings beneath. The Committee agreed and scotched the practice for a cost of 30 shillings simply by fixing iron nuts at intervals along the handrails.’
Severn & Wye Railway Forest of Dean Volume 1 Ian Pope / Bob How / Paul Karau - Wild Swan Publications Ltd. Available in DFR Shop!