On Wednesday 20th January 2016, Frances and I set off to enjoy one of our favourite walks, ‘River Caldew and Raughton Head’ near Dalston. Start at Rose Bridge [GR NY375458] and follow the River Caldew upstream to Bell Bridge and then return via Lambfield Farm and Chapel Lane – 5.6 miles with 374 feet of ascent with views of Rose Castle, Bog Bridge, a former mill near the river with Carrock Fell and High Pike in the distance. What could go wrong?


In View with Stan Leigh


Footbridge in Carlisle reopened in February 2018. It was good to see that these well-used bridges were available once again. Our bridges will continue to be one of the highlights of our walks - many have been included in previous articles.

Broughton Bridge Repairs 2010

The River Caldew’s source is between Sale How and Skiddaw and is merely a single stride in its infancy. It heads north, and becomes a lively, picturesque river by the time it reaches Raughton Head and Dalston. During our walk, we noticed the damage from Storm Desmond in December 2015 that had occurred along the riverbank. We arrived at Bell Bridge - the road was closed with a barrier. Could we cross? We decided not to and returned to cross the river at Bog Bridge. On 27th January 2016, Bell Bridge collapsed into the River Caldew, just a week after we had been there. The communities in the area were badly affected by the loss of the bridge and needed a crossing.

We were pleased to learn that a replacement bridge was opened on 19th December 2017, so it was great to return to the area to cross via the new bridge on Wednesday 20th March, visiting Stockdalewath on the return journey to Raughton Head.

Other bridges that were reopened in December 2017, were Brougham Old Bridge, near Penrith, originally built in 1811 and Carlisle’s Memorial Bridge in Rickerby Park. The Sheepmount

INFO@THECOCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK Millers Bridge, Cockermouth ISSUE 425 | Navvies Bridge and Workington skyline Knight's Bridge in Keswick

Our Cumbrian landscape is fantastic, but our rivers brought major chaos to our bridges in the storms of 2009 and 2015. Bridges at Southwaite and Low Lorton over the River Cocker, Forge Bridge and the

I recall seeing a lengthy list of the workload of bridge and highway repairs after both major flooding events. I think that the teams involved in this work deserve a round of applause – don’t you?

One of my favourite Simon and Garfunkel tracks is ‘Bridge over Troubled Waters’. We all like happiness in our lives but there are occasions when the words of Paul Simon’s famous song, seem familiar - ‘When you’re weary’, ‘When tears are in your eyes’, ‘When you’re down and out’. There are times when we need a bridge in our lives. Thankfully friends, family, neighbours and our Churches are there to be by our side during difficult times.

A good motto for us going forward - ‘Build bridges, not walls’. Are you a bridge builder?

*Old Bell Bridge photo courtesy of Raughton Parish Explore and discover! Stan

The new Bell Bridge at Welton inset is the old Bell Bridge*

Fitz Park bridges over the River Greta, Bell Bridge over the River Caldew and the many bridges along the River Derwent, particularly in Workington, needed to be replaced.

Workington [or Calva] Bridge, Navvies Bridge, New Bridge [ Northside, Cloffocks or County Bridge], Misers Bridge [or Camerton Bridge], Dock or Harbour Bridge, Barker Crossing have all formed part of the town’s landscape but overnight the people were left with one useable bridge – for the railway. To get from the town to Northside by car took a massive detour via Papcastle Bridge. Thankfully, improvements in flood defences have been made since those difficult days.

26 APRIL 2018 | 18

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