New Chinese Bridge 'Substantial, Graceful'

"I think it will be agreed that the new bridge is both substantial and graceful and is achinese-bridge-newspaper-cutting-bHunts Post credit to the local craftsman employed in it's construction." remarked the Mayor of Godmanchester (Coun. A S. Pettit) last Wednesday when he snipped a red ribbon to mark the official opening of the Borough's new Chinese Bridge.

"I also wish to thank the county council and the Ministry for their financial assistance," the mayor added.

Welcoming the chairman of the County Council (Ald. W. Brown) to "This small ceremony," the Mayor continued, "The first bridge which was built as a whole at the old Tan yard and conveyed in its entirety to this spot, lasted for 42 years.""The same question arose as it did 18 months ago, whether to replace in replica or to erect a different type of bridge still keeping with the site.

"It was decided that the second bridge should resemble the first as closely as possible and though this was done in the pattern and design of the woodwork, Bird in his reminiscences, states that it was not such a high arch nor as graceful as its predecessor although no doubt more substantial.

"Finally, I would like to say how pleased I am that this project has been completed by Godmanchester Borough Council while it is still a separate body, for although we look forward confidently to the future as a partner in the combined borough, this bridge has come to be looked upon as almost a symbol of our town."

After the ceremony about 100 people and school children followed the Mayor and Corporation, the Town Clerk (Mr. Philip Davies), and the Rev. R. Edwards, Vicar of Godmanchester, over the bridge.

A Plaque commemorating the occasion has been provided.

The original bridge, built in 1827, was intended to relieve the congestion in the Mill Yard then leased by the Corporation to a Mr. Ashley who paid £100 towards its erection. The decision to erect it was taken at a meeting of the bailiffs and assistants, and was carried by a majority of only one.

In March, 1959, the Borough Council was told that the bridge was beyond repair, and although enquiries were made about the incorporation of an arch, eventually the bridge was closed.

A local firm G. B. Brudenell Ltd., was awarded the contract for the construction of the new bridge, after submitting a tender of £1,580.

The Chinese was renovated in 197?, another newspaper article can be found here.