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The Bridge with three Names!

These pictures show Barming Bridge, also known as Kettle (....Cattle?) Bridge and St. Helen’s Bridge which has undergone a number of changes over the years! We can reach back to the early 1740's when measures were put in place to assist the navigation of the River Medway, local achives show that previously you could ford the river at this point (the verb ford describes crossing a body of water on foot at a shallow point or driving across it in a vehicle. The idea is that you're not using a bridge or a boat to cross the water. Ford also has a noun form, meaning a shallow point in a river or stream)...

 

The first back in 1795 when the bridge was destroyed due to flooding, and secondly in 1914, when a ten tonne traction engine fell through the bridge into the river below. Information on the replacement structure is scarce, if you know of any please do get in touch.

 

The old wooden structure was replaced by a concrete and steel structure in 1996, this however was not for the benefit of four wheeled transport but for the two or four legged kind. No doubt thought to be a practical idea at the time, but how ugly!

I wonder if anyone can recall the decisions that led the bridge to become a footbridge from it’s previous existance?

 

Please contact editor@thefarleighs.co.uk with any information you may have.

 

Thanks to Vicky McCarthy for supplying the photos.

 

Ed Boyd