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Gallery: When a Chinook helped renew historic bridge used by painter to reach school

PUBLISHED: 10:47 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:47 03 January 2020

Lifting the bridge into place  Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Walkers regularly cross the River Stour and head for Flatford by crossing the popular Fen Bridge.

The Chinook that lifted the bridge in Dedham  Picture: DAVID KINDREDThe Chinook that lifted the bridge in Dedham Picture: DAVID KINDRED

The bridge - part of both the St Edmund Way and Stour Valley Path walk routes - is a good link from East Bergholt towards the heart of Constable Country, allowing walkers to stroll through the meadows, watched by the cows, alongside the winding river.

Taking a look round the Chinook that lifted the bridge  Picture: DAVID KINDREDTaking a look round the Chinook that lifted the bridge Picture: DAVID KINDRED

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The bridge has been a crossing for hundreds of years and was used by painter John Constable on his way to and from school.

Pulling the hovering bridge into position  Picture: DAVID KINDREDPulling the hovering bridge into position Picture: DAVID KINDRED

However, the bridge is not the original used by Constable - and the current structure, a replica, was lifted into place by a RAF Chinook helicopter in 1985 and opened for public use following a celebration later that year.

Despite the snow, Dedham residents still turned out to see the helicopter  Picture: DAVID KINDREDDespite the snow, Dedham residents still turned out to see the helicopter Picture: DAVID KINDRED

The arrival of the helicopter, landing on the snow-covered meadows, caused quite a stir. Many villagers turned out to watch and some were allowed on board to see inside the aircraft.

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