Branches East Vale Restoration
Childrey Bridleway Bridge

West Challow footbridgeWest Challow footbridge, showing abutments on south side and the 1948 concrete culvertAlthough this lies close to the village of West Challow it is important to point out that the canal at this point lies within the parish of Childrey. Bridleway No 7 goes between the two villages and is well used by walkers, horse riders and cyclists. The path crossed the canal by way of a bridge but until recently we were not entirely certain as to what type of bridge was there originally. Brickwork is visible indicating a structure 16'6" square and having done limited investigative work appears to be in reasonable order. At the Uffington Show we were approached by someone who lived in West Challow as a child and walked to school in Childrey every day. He remembered that it was a flat plank bridge ( which in turn had replaced the original lift bridge) until being demolished in 1948. Incidentally at that time the next lift bridge to the west only a few hundred yards away was still in situ.

Several years ago we had the opportunity to purchase a ready-built 40' long and 10'wide bridleway bridge previously used for that purpose in Wiltshire. It is currently in storage a few miles away. The plan is to move it to adjacent to the bridleway and then once further design work has been completed on restoring a flat bridge for the bridleway apply for all the necessary permissions, and then divert the bridleway temporarily whilst the new bridge is built. Obviously until permissions were in place the temporary bridge would not be open to the public, but we would invite locals users ( especially the horse owners) to inspect it in situ.

Once the new bridge is complete then the diversion will end and the temporary bridge will be used elsewhere on the canal. We should then be able to connect properly the two isolated stretches of canal and re-connect the towpath.

Planning Permission has been granted for the erection of the temporary bridge and we now await availability for the moving of the bridge into place. Meanwhile work continues on the design of the new bridleway bridge to replace the infill and I hope to report further in the Spring on progress.

In August 2012 the temporary bridge was finally craned into position. Since then the team have spent their time replacing the timber decking and the timber railings, prior to work on the field corners either side to enable the diversion of the bridleway. We have engineering drawings for the proposed new bridge which will be used in the planning application.


Last Updated on Monday, 12 November 2012 08:01