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29 October 2014
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River Orwell

You are in: Suffolk > Places > River Orwell > Bridging the Orwell

Bridging the Orwell

Have Your Say

Have you got any stories relating to the Orwell Bridge?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Peter Goodchild
Before retirement I worked for Bruntons Propellers in Sudbury. The ferries operating at the bridge site used Schottel units (a bit like giant outboard engines) and the propellers were often damaged by striking debris in the river. I remember, on several occasions, taking a repaired prop to the West bank site in my car and exchanging it for another damaged one. Good business while it lasted!

My brother-in-law Joseph Mullett was one of the main drawers of the plans for the bridge. My niece Vanessa was named after Hank van Es who apparently was a top bloke!

Maureen Springle
I was Office Manager on site. These pictures brought back happy memories.We were regularly taken on site by Hank van Es to view progress and understand what was happening. This made us feel very much part of the project.

mark allen
hiya its great to see these photos of the bridge being built i lived in ipswich for 35 yrs before moving to derby i used to go there every sunday with my dad and we used to check on progress i remember the crane falling over and the day they joined it together i have lots of pics in a photo album somewhere including the weekend we walked across the bridge before it opened i still travel to suffolk when i can as i have family there the bridge holds lots of memorys for me it reminds me of my late dad so thanks for sharing those great pics on the net. thank you mark j allen,derby.

CALLEN [The Voice]
I never thought such a simplistic design could look ok. Its certainly become one of the iconic landmarks of Suffolk. In some quarters its sadly known as 'suicide Bridge' and is acknowledged as such by having its own Smaritans emergency phone on the walkway at each end. CALLEN [The Voice]

Clement Chung
I was at Halifax Primary School during the construction and one of the girls in my class was the daughter of one of the main Dutch engineers. I was about 10 at the time and my class had a special guided tour of the bridge when it was near completion. One of my good memories of the visit was a boat trip under the bridge (across the banks) wearing over sized hard hats!!! I can see the bridge from my parents house and clearly remember the christmas trees! Memories.

Matt Berry
My grandfathers firm was the first team on site for the Orwell project. They were there to cut down the trees. My father was in that team and still recalls turning up to an emptey site at around 7 am and by the end of the day he was amazed by how much equipment and man power had arrived.

Bob McLean
Yes, I have many but today I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Charlie’s story.Bob McLean Construction Manager

Robin Buncombe
I have no story relating to the construction of the bridge itself other than fleeting glimpses from the main rail line. Which makes the gallery pictures and the work of Charlie all the more remarkable and worth enjoying.What a landmark!

patrick nunn
i am a lorry driver and the bridge save alot of time i take my hat off to the construction worker well done

Val Brundish
My sons were born 11/79 and 06/82 and I used to walk them across the Lairs (now Orwell Park) in their prams and watch the progress of the bridge. I really love the bridge and I always remember the walks I used to have with them in their prams.I live in Stowupland now but still love the walks around the bridge but don't very often get there but often travel over the bridge.

jim smith
i worked on the orwell bridge site for almost 3yrs working for kendrick hire the first 3/4 months with dave hunting ,then on my own suppliers of tools and plant to the site.i had my own office and compound .it was my first experience of the hire trade andi had to learn pretty fast with thepressure on there was no such word as no',with kenny hazel (site foreman) and other shrieking radio and phone calls the learning curve was somthing like45%. my wife yvonne ran the canteen and my daughter also played her part .good money coming into the family ,(most of mine goinginto the forresters arms chelmondiston) i knew charlie sharp well and have kept in contact. hard work a lot of pressure , but proud to have been part of it.

I remember when the bridge first opened in 1982 to the public, my friend Mathew was the first person to cross the bridge on wheels using his roller skates. By the way some fantastic photos from Charlie.

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