After all the money that was spent on refurbishing Bath’s very own Victorian suspension bridge it is sad to see how some local people are treating it.
Nearly three and a half million pounds was spent on almost completely rebuilding the metalwork making up the Victoria Bridge – a 180 year old taper-styled suspended bridge designed by local engineer James Dredge and named after the Queen who began her reign a year after the last chain was put in place.
The restoration has made the structure suitable for modern use. To serve the growing population of Bath Riverside and also as a link between the Upper and Lower Bristol roads for people on foot and cyclists.
So it has been with sadness that l received the following e-mail from John Hosegood – a Bath Newseum follower.
John told me:
‘The renovation of Victoria Bridge is a delight and worthy of praise all round but look at the growing amount of graffiti on the plinths and below on the north side. Can you draw attention to this sad development with photographs and a copy to BANES .
I mentioned it to their officers some months ago when they were posing along the river re; safety but nothing has been done . There is also no plaque or details of the bridge in display form — again sad.’
Well John l have finally got around to cycling out to the bridge and – with the towpath temporarily re-opened – went down to explore the damage.
You are right to draw attention to what has happened. The amount of graffiti is shocking. There is no respect for the past here with the stone supports of this Grade 2 Star-listed structure bearing the very obvious marks of extreme vandalism.
The spray paint continues un-interrupted from walls on one side of the bridge support to the walls on the other.
They’ve even sprayed a sign warning of the dangers of getting too close to the river.
I don’t like the idea of being watched from above every minute of the day but – if there was ever a case for CCTV – it is here where a most important part of Bath’s historical fabric needs protecting.
Maybe Crest Nicholson could help with the cost? Or B&NES get sponsorship from someone or somewhere
Meanwhile l would like to see a proper plaque erected here too. Something to show to local kids in an efforts to try and impress upon them why old things matter and should be respected.
After all – one day they will be the guardians of Bath’s industrial and architectural heritage.