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History begins at home

June 19, 202010:39 amLeave a Comment

‘History Begins at Home’ is a new national campaign which aims to connect people through conversations about history and to capture and then share these conversations, memories and stories through Facebook and Twitter. The idea behind the campaign is to encourage family members of different generations to connect or re-connect by discovering previously unknown facts or family stories, sharing memories, experiences and expertise, and then capturing these conversations and findings for the future.

The first of the ‘History Begins at Home’ themes is cars and transport – and we’ve been posting images of car, lorries, tractors and all kinds of other vehicles from our photographic collection on our social media. This has generated at lot of comment and interest.

Footbridge at Bridgnorth ref 9716
Photograph of the footbridge (Anthony Price) ref 9716

Volunteer, Tony Price, has responded to this and sent in his own photograph, which perfectly encapsulates the theme. He’s also told us the story behind it, writing:

“This picture is of the footbridge in Bridgnorth, crossing from High Town to the railway station.  Of added interest is the green and primrose coloured bus, No 17, which ran from Wolverhampton to Bridgnorth.  The photograph was taken in 1969 and shows one of the last times that Wolverhampton Corporation Transport ran the route before being taken over by WMPT.
The bus, coming round the bend along Hollybush Road, is a 1967 AEC Swift Strachan dual-entrance 54-seater. The bus was part of the Wolverhampton Corporation Transport fleet, whose livery was green and primrose.  The Department. was merged with the WMPT in 1969.  The bus is on the number 17 route. This route had a long history.

The GWR started the route in 1904 prior to building a railway between Wolverhampton and Bridgnorth, which was started but never completed They continued to operate the bus service until 1923, when it was taken over by Wolverhampton Corporation.

The shed built to house the bus. can still be seen today, at Kidderminster railway station, it having been moved there in 2010.

The footbridge which ran from New Road, High Town, Bridgnorth, to the railway station was built in 1895 by the Wolverhampton company of Rubery Owen & Co. Ltd.. Its condition was allowed to deteriorate and plans were made for its demolition in the late 1960’s. The footbridge was closed and boarded up on 30 September 1970.  By 1976 it was demolished.

A section of the bridge remains was displayed on the traffic island at the entrance to Bridgnorth, at the bottom of the Hermitage. The bridge has since been replaced.

One of the buildings under the footbridge was a dance hall which my father recalled at it had one of the best sprung dance floors had had danced on.”

Thank you to Tony for adding this photograph with such detail to our collections. It shows how much has changed in recent times.

And here’s one he’s found in our collections from even earlier, taken in 1898. We also are also plans for the proposed bridge drawn up in 1893 (ref DA2/709/2/28).

1898 photograph of Bridgnorth footbridge PH/B/25/2/71
PH/B/25/2/71 Shropshire Archives (Frith)
Written by sarahd

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