NOSTALGIA: Peterborough’s Crescent Bridge spanning the ages

1912 Crescent Bridge taking shape
1912 Crescent Bridge taking shape

Bridges are big news in Peterborough at the moment. There is a campaign to build a new foot/cycle bridge linking Fletton Quays to the city centre. Meanwhile there have been angry protests over the city council’s proposal to pull down Rhubarb Bridge.

As a newcomer to Peterborough (I’ve only live here 20-odd years!) I’ve always felt the city has been poorly served with bridges. There are not enough of them and those that there are don’t fulfil a key role – which is to showcase the surroundings by being a great vantage point for views.

Construction of Crescent Bridge, following a fatal accident in Jan 1881

Construction of Crescent Bridge, following a fatal accident in Jan 1881

Crescent Bridge is a real city landmark and having been built in 1913 is more than a 100 years old. It spans the East Coast line and was indeed built to replace dangerous level crossings. Unless you are well over six foot tall or on the top deck of a bus, the bridge offers no views.

But, its design makes it a special part of the city landscape.

Today’s pictures show the bridge under construction and some of the men who worked on it.

The picture of the horses and carts is an evocative sight, very different to today’s busy road packed with vehicles.

Crescent Bridge ENGEMN00120120228153327

Crescent Bridge ENGEMN00120120228153327

And, while not exactly the Forth Bridge, painting it is a big job as no doubt this man pictured in 1983 would testify. Does anyone know who he is?

The final pictures show the aftermath of a crash near the bridge in 1922. There were houses on a road called The Crescent near the bridge.

Crescent Bridge 1983 repainting

Crescent Bridge 1983 repainting

Workers on Crescent Bridge

Workers on Crescent Bridge

Peterborough railway accident 1922 near Cresecent Bridge. Gladys Cole buried along with daughter in her house

Peterborough railway accident 1922 near Cresecent Bridge. Gladys Cole buried along with daughter in her house

Peterborough railway accident 1922 near Cresecent Bridge. Gladys Cole buried along with daughter in her house

Peterborough railway accident 1922 near Cresecent Bridge. Gladys Cole buried along with daughter in her house