Halton 3 – Silver Jubilee Bridge

For many years, the only way to cross the River Mersey at the Runcorn Gap, as it’s known, between Widnes and Runcorn was by ferry. In 1905, the first of two transporter bridges was opened, carrying people and vehicles across in a gondola. After World War ll, that transporter bridge was replaced by a more efficient one. I remember travelling across on it with my bike in the late 1950s.

I introduced this online photobook by saying that it was to be a collection of my favourite images. I took the photograph above at Sunset on 22 October in 2019 and it remains in the top ten of my all-time favourites.

I live less than five miles from the Silver Jubilee Bridge, and I fall in love with it each time I see its graceful arch as I approach Widnes from as far away as three miles. The shot above is yet another that I’ve taken while walking from Pickerings Pasture.

This is another of my favourites – perhaps because the black and white image strips away everything apart from the majesty of the bridge structure. In 1961, this, the Silver Jubilee Bridge, a Grade ll listed building, was opened but later widened and named, in 1977, in honour of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

The bridge, which has a main arch span of 361 yards (330 metres), carries the A533 road and a footpath. Its total length is 527 yards (482 metres) and it is 18 yards (16 metres) wide. It stands 80 feet (24 metres) above the Manchester Ship Canal that runs beside the River Mersey on the Runcorn side of the bridge.

In 2017, the bridge was closed for refurbishment when the Mersey Gateway was opened for traffic. I took this and the photograph below on the day before the bridge was re-opened in February 2021. It now has a single lane of traffic in each direction plus new paths for cycles and pedestrians.

On the day it re-opened, this time as a toll-bridge, I walked across and took the shot above to reveal the structure from a different angle.

The following month in 2021, after a photowalk around Spike Island (photos to follow in a few posts’ time), I walked towards the Silver Jubilee Bridge to indulge my addiction to photographing it.

A few months ago (early 2022), I returned to take some images of the railway bridge but, while I was there, I used the opportunity to take this photo from below the Silver Jubilee bridge

After I’d finished taking photos of the railway bridge, I walked back to take another photo of the bridge from where I’d taken the one below – three years earlier.

I took the photograph above perhaps 30 minutes before the sunset shot of today’s featured photo.

Author: writingandphotography0531

My name is Gerald Murphy. I am a retired local government officer. At the time of my retirement I was an IT manager and had associated responsibilities for training. I had previously been involved, in various organisations, with aspects of industrial training and management development. My main hobby is photography and, until 2016, hillwalking in Snowdonia. Sciatica has put an end to mountain walks and, as a carer for my wife, opportunities for photography excursions are now more limited. Since July 2022, I have started using this site as a photobook.

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