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Orwell: The bridge residents hold dear to their hearts

12:54 28 December 2012

Construction of the Orwell Bridge, circa 1981/2

Construction of the Orwell Bridge, circa 1981/2

AS the Orwell Bridge turns 30 this week, readers have been debating what the bridge means to them.

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The much-photographed bridge is a vital link from the Port of Felixstowe, it is an impressive structure, iconic but also the bane of commuter’s lives because when an accident happens on the A1214 the effects are wide-ranging.

For Charlotte Potter it is symblic of home, after reading our anniversy piece online she posted on Facebook saying: “Charlotte Potter Even aged 33 and living in Essex crossing the bridge means I’m nearly home to my family and always makes me smile!”

Another admirer is Marion Fowler, who said: “I love to look at it but won’t use it. Too long and too windy for me.”

Remembering the construction of the bridge, Charlotte McBurney said: “I used to live on Luther Road at the top of the hill and we had. Perfect view of its erection, I even remember them blowing up the power station (or whatever those chimneys were!) got pictures of both somewhere!”

Chris White said: “I lived in Shotley and travelled under it all the time it was being built. Still got a photo album at my dads house with all the pictures taken during construction.”

And Tanya Lusher added: “My parents lived in the house that was closest to where the bridge was being built for 30 years and I grew up there. I used to play on the site and lay in deep trenches as earth movers were driving past literally a foot away, how stupid was that? Just didn’t see the danger then!

“Once they got the pillars up and then the first part of the actual bridge, my friends and I even went inside the hollow part of the bridge.

“It changed the landscape and caused a lot of noise, which has now been replaced with traffic noise. Unfortunately it’s brought with it many tragedies by people taking their own lives from it too but it does do the job of bypassing the town for a lot of traffic, which makes a huge difference as we all know when it’s closed for one reason or another.”

Linda Hall added: “I live in Florida and still have the photos my dad sent me of the Orwell bridge being constructed.”

Adam Burrows told us that his dad worked on the roads. While Jackie Calver said: “My dear dad used to work at Cliff Quay power station and watched it being built. We went over it on the day of the grand opening.”

Anotehr reader who had relatives who were involved was Laura Parker, who said: “My grandad and uncle helped build it, apparently my uncle wrote his name on the outer side of the bridge in the cement.”

There have been sponsored runs and walks across the bridge, including a half marathon, over the years. Louise French commented, saying: “We did a walk across it, I was 11.”

Do you have memories of the bridge? Leave your comments here, email natalie.hoodless@archant.co.uk or join us on Facebook.

Send your photos via suffolk.iwitness24.co.uk

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  • The Orwell Bridge was part of my life for three years, whilst I was Group Operations Manager for Kendrick Hire. I acquired the hire contract for the site from Royal Volker Stevin Construction, and we supplied all the small plant that was required for the project. I personally was the first ever person on the site prior to the work starting, and hired the farm cottage in the Strand from Paul's the farmer for offices. I also took on the services of Jim Smith, and it was himself that ran the contract so professionally.

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    Dave Hunting

    Friday, December 28, 2012

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