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

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED - Credit: DAVID KINDRED

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

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED - Credit: 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.

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED - Credit: DAVID KINDRED

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

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED - Credit: 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.

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED - Credit: 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.

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED - Credit: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED - Credit: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Lifting the bridge into place Picture: DAVID KINDRED - Credit: DAVID KINDRED


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