MIle Cross #23
Ferry, 'cross the Wensum.
Dolphin Footbridge and Andersons Meadow. The bridge was opened on the 15th December, 1909 by the brilliantly named Mayor Ernest Egbert Blyth, replacing a Ferry run from very same spot by the proprietor of the nearby Dolphin Pub. I often wonder how he felt about losing his buoyant (sorry) monopoly over this stretch of water.
Before this bridge existed the nearest bridge to cross over the Wensum by foot to the North part of the City would have been at the fairly recently added City Station Bridge of 1882. The next bridge to cross by foot would have been in Old Hellesdon at Hellesdon Hall Road, well over a mile away. It seemed more important to get the trains across this long stretch of the Wensum than people seeing as there were far more rail bridges than anything else. I'm guessing that hard-up people needing to get across would have tried their luck along the tracks. People always find a way to take the shortest route. Dolphin path ran from Heigham street to Drayton road at it's junction with Junction Road. The double-span bridge crossed the river before becoming a viaduct taking the footpath over the old M&GN and a system of dykes. The Viaduct was demolished in the 1980's after the rails had been lifted over ten years prior, and the highest part of the viaduct was recycled to cross the storm drain mentioned in Mile Cross #19
Andersons Meadow is only recently the meadow we see now. Among other things it was a dump and a place for the Council to store aggregates. A massive water pipe was installed through here in the last 5 years, and being the exciting chap I am I went and had a look at what they were digging up. From what I could see it was mostly lumps of concrete, broken bricks and masses of china and glass.
A picture of it being built can be seen here:
A picture of the original footpath sign can be seen here:
The old viaduct can be seen here in it's original position:
The bridge itself can be seen here:
And the relocated Viaduct span can be seen here:
And last but not least an image of the ferry before the bridge was built: