Migrating the Iron Bridge Restoration Project Diary from the old web site was a task I'd put off due to the daunting amount of material generated during a period of more than 11 years. However, with the bridge discovered to be at risk again in the winter of 2021 the time seemed right to get the job done.
This section of the web site, completed in January 2022, now pulls together the pages created during the huge community effort of the Iron Bridge Restoration Project, the more recent Iron Bridge Viewing Platform Refurbishment and the disappointing news that the Iron Bridge is at risk again only 14 years after Peter Clarke, the late Anne Hearle and I concluded 7 years of hard work to secure its future.
The council's Conservation Officer and I caught up with progress at the Iron Bridge today.
This film was originally created in 2007/8 by Take 27 Ltd as part of the Brabyns Park Iron Bridge Restoration Project but back then files were too large for normal Internet download and storage. Today those problems are no longer an issue, so at last the film can be shared as part of the Iron Bridge Restoration Project Diaries on The Marple Website.
In 2018 the bronze plaque at the Iron Bridge was at risk of being lost due to decay of the tree stump that it was mounted on. After a dialogue with the council and park stakeholders a project led by the Marple Website began in March 2019 with removal of the plaque for safe keeping.
The project to remove the stump, rebuild the platform, refurbish the bronze plaque and fit it on new bestpoke railings came together in stages over the next two and a half years with the help of Friends of Brabyns Park and Stockport Council with funding support from the Macnair Trust, Marple Area Committee, Marple Civic Society and others. The bespoke railings were made by Wayne Chaisty.
In 2001 The Marple Website began a campaign for the restoration of the Iron Bridge in Brabyns Park and was joined by Marple Local History Society in 2002. Later that year a partnership was formed with Stockport Council to find ways to fund its restoration.
In 2003 the group made a successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Project Planning Grant. After considerable delays, not least due to the discovery of a six-inch gas main that had been installed across the bridge in the 1980s, a scheme for the restoration was finalised in 2006.
A second Heritage Lottery Grant was awarded in 2007 and, with match funding raised with the help and support of the local community, the bridge’s future was secured. Restoration work was completed in 2008, in good time for the bridge’s Bicentennial anniversary in 2013.