I was walking back from St Stephen’s Church recently, when I chanced upon a small group of two storey, flat roofed, semi detached social houses.
They were blessed with that post war functionalist brick and concrete chic.
Part of a larger development of homes in the Longford area of the town.
An area which is one of the most socially deprived in the country, with more than its fair share of problems, crack and weed would once have been pressing matters for the Borough Highways Department – these days they are more likely to attract the attention of the boys and girls in blue.
And to cap it all the area is prone to frequent flooding.
There are signs of hope as the housing association and council embark on a multi million pound refurbishment of the estate including:
Replacing fencing around bungalows.
On the day of my visit the chill January streets seemed quiet and ordered, and I was enchanted by the mismatched pairs of semis that I encountered.
I set out one morning with a clear intent, to travel.
To travel to see the Warrington Transporter Bridge – of which I had only just become aware. Ignorance in this instance is not bliss, expectation and fulfilment is.
Guided by the detailed instructions on the Transporter Bridge Website I made my way from Bank Quay Station, mildly imperilled yet not impeded by caged walkways, tunnels, bridges, muddy paths and Giant Hogweed!
Finally catching a glimpse of:
Warrington Transporter Bridge, also known as Bank Quay Transporter Bridge or Crosfield’s Transporter Bridge, across the River Mersey is a structural steel transporter bridge with a span of 200 feet. It is 30 feet wide, and 76 feet above high water level, with an overall length of 339 feet. It was built in 1915 and, although it has been out of use since about 1964, it is still standing. It was designed by William Henry Hunter and built by William Arrol and Co.
The bridge in use 1951.
It is till standing today, and was built to despatch finished product from the cement plant that had been built on the peninsula. It was originally used to carry rail vehicles up to 18 tons in weight, and was converted for road vehicles in 1940. In 1953 it was modified to carry loads of up to 30 tons.
The bridge is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building, and because of its poor condition it is on their Heritage at Risk Register. The bridge is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
My thanks to the Friends of the Warrington Transporter Bridge for the historical information and archive image.
Here are my photographs expectations more than fully fulfilled an epic structure and a triumph of engineering, go take a look real soon.
As I walked out one morning, up and down the A49 out of Warrington town centre, on the way somewhere else entirely, the sun and I chanced to fall on a tight group of streets and courtyards, constraining and containing an intriguing collection of modern homes.
Competitively priced, well below national averages – the area looks to be getting along.
Incidence of crime is low to almost non existent.
So an illuminated set of buildings with little by way of further illumination, I presume them to be corporation built, late Seventies? A visually exciting set of varied, interlocking geometric volumes – a formalist model that seems to function. On a chill day most residents were hopefully tucked up safe and warm somewhere or other, public spaces rested, bereft of life. The window spaces are pinched and mean, not only of the elevation facing the adjacent main road, but also on the inward faces. An economy of means and a resultant paucity of light.