Saturday, September 05, 2015

Sepia Saturday 295 : A Foggy Day In Yarmouth Town

The theme image for Sepia Saturday 295 features an image of the Menai Suspension Bridge in Wales and the suggested themes include bridges, fog and buses. Once I had taken a ride on the sepia bus and the fog had cleared I found myself in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk looking at Breydon Swing Bridge. Not only had I travelled in distance, I had travelled in time as well and I was back in August 1948. Although I was only a couple of months old, I could still appreciate a fine bit of industrial archeology.

The bridge was built in 1899 to take the line of the Midland and Great Northern Railway across Breydon Water at a point close to where the River Bure flows into the River Yare. By the end of the nineteenth century most of the main parts of the British railway network had been in place for at least half a century and the bits of construction that were still taking place were the railway equivalent of dotting the "i's" and crossing the "t's" (or in this case crossing the Yare!) The lines that were built this late tended to be marginal from both a geographic and an economic point of view and they were often the first to close when, half a century later, the railway age went into decline (the line did indeed close in 1953 and the bridge was demolished a few years later).



The bridge was 800 feet long and consisted of five spans, one of which swung open to allow ships up river and into Breydon Water and from there into the Norfolk Broads. The old postcard (thanks, as ever, to Wikipedia) provides a better view of the entire bridge than the photograph at the top of this post which was taken by the inimitable "Uncle" Frank Fieldhouse. Frank may not have been the best photographer in the world but at least he was a first class cataloguer and therefore we know that his photograph was taken on the 2nd August 1948. And maybe, just maybe, the reason for the somewhat uninspiring photograph was because on that particular date is was a foggy day in Yarmouth town.


For more Sepia Posts catch the bus over the bridge to the Sepia Saturday Blog





12 comments:

  1. "A Foggy Day in London Town" just popped into my head! Thanks for hosting this meme; it's been a while since I've visited. Because of arthritis in my neck, I am limited in time for sitting at my computer.

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  2. I really enjoyed your Foggy day, and I have to get bridging myself here as well!

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  3. God bless Frank and his careful cataloguing, allowing us to see what the weather was like on that very particular day, at that very particular bridge.

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  4. Great bridges. Enjoyed your Post. Don't get much fog in Florida where I live.

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  5. Why does the word viaduct remind me of the Marx brothers? Is it something to do with Duck Soup? I'm with little Nell in blessing Uncle Frank - I do like a good cataloguer.

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  6. It's always so fascinating to see a bridge that swings open for ships. The mechanics of it are fascinating. Of course, getting to the bridge just as it's about to do this and you're trying to get elsewhere is never fun…unless your'e a kid and could care less about where you're going. The the trip IS the whole reason for the ride.

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  7. Oh, I always love getting to a bridge as it's about to open up for a boat or ship to pass. I usually give in to the fate of being late on arrival (knowing others understand when you say "sorry, the bridge was up") and enjoy the spectacle.

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  8. I did get across the bridge, a day late, but I made it! Ha! Ha!

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  9. The Norfolk Broads are very picturesque. Shame that that bridge was demolished. I didn't think too much of Great Yarmouth though, where we were advised to become members of the casino just to get a decent meal at its restaurant.

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  10. A Yarmouth bridge features in my post this weekend, and it was a kind of swing bridge too, though not in a good way. I think Uncle Frank liked the zig-zag pattern of the bridge trusses. I bet he would have enjoyed your talent to zoom in and crop an image.

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  11. Interesting bridge history.

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  12. I've never been to this part of the world but I suspect this bridge featured in one of the 2 Swallows & Amazons books set on the Norfolk Broads: Coot Club or The Big Six. I'm sure you get Breydon Water and the River Bure in one of them.

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