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Friday, 2 July 2010

Events: Happy 80th Birthday Weymouth Town Bridge

Weymouth's famous lifting bridge will be 80 years old this Sunday and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, in partnership with the Dorset County Council and the  Weymouth Harbour Board is celebrating it.

The bridge first opened at 12.30pm on  July 4th 1930, and an anniversary exhibition will be held at the Harbour Office on July 4th from 1-4pm and again from noon until 4pm on July 11th during the Seafood Festival.
 
The following weekend there will be a second celebration during the Seafood Festival on 11 July for local children to join the festivities, with a ‘Happy Birthday Bridge’ birthday card competition. The ten most creative young card makers from local schools will be invited aboard a round-harbour trip on local boat the ‘Melwey’, and will be treated to an exclusive guided tour of the secret inner workings of the bridge, where they will be able to watch from inside as it is raised and see how it is operated.

Below: Foundation Stone Laying of Weymouth Town Bridge



Bridge birthday festivities during the Seafood Festival on the 11th will also include Pommery Champagne, and the opportunity to sample a special celebratory ale brewed exclusively for the occasion by Festival sponsors Ringwood Brewery. A small flotilla of decorated local vessels will sound their horns to celebrate the occasion, and a waterborne musical tribute to the Bridge will be performed by the Weymouth Sea Cadets Band. Local boat owners who would like to be part of the celebrations can travel through the bridge at 11am – you are invited to dress boats with bunting and make as much noise as possible!

Cllr Peter Farrell, chair of the Harbour Board, said: “Weymouth’s town bridge has been an iconic landmark of this town for nearly a century. The bridge plays a key role in our history; the first bridge across the harbour was built in 1597, when Queen Elizabeth I ordered the feuding boroughs of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis to unite.

“I’m sure there are many residents amongst us who have memories attached to the bridge, or perhaps even helped build the current bridge when it was installed in 1930. We’d be “I’m sure there are many residents amongst us who have memories attached to the bridge, or perhaps even helped build the current bridge when it was installed in 1930.”

“The town bridge plays a vital role in our local infrastructure and has done for generations, and it is important not to overlook the hard work that goes into maintaining and operating this facility throughout the year.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big ‘thank you’ to everybody who has worked on the bridge, past and present, and to celebrate the important role that the bridge plays in Borough life.”

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