A relic of a bygone age … going adrift …

Old canal bridge now over a footpath

Old canal bridge

3rd October 2015

Not going but gone.  Today I’ve taken a walk down the old canal path and discovered that this has been done to the bridge. Really? Could it really not have been restored? So another bit of history bites the dust. 🙁

Old canal bridge 2015

Old canal bridge 2015

… or at least to rack and ruin!

Canal Bridge – below Milton Road, Swindon

As in many towns up and down the country, much of Swindon’s canal disappeared when first the train and then the car became king. All that’s left in the town centre now is a street name, Canal Walk. But keep going down Canal Walk, to Wharf Green and beyond – cross the road and you will come to this bridge. Like so many interesting things in Swindon it’s secreted away and unsung. And also, in this case (sadly not an isolated one), unloved!

What must once have been wonderfully vibrant friezes along the top of it – each one I imagine having some meaning/symbolism – are now all but faded away.

Am I the only person in Swindon to be saddened by this? SBC – can you not do something about it? Anybody? It’s such a shame. If I had any artistic ability whatsoever I’d be tempted to get up there with a paintbrush myself! But it’s no exaggeration to say that even drawing the ubiquitous stick man is beyond me. Jesting aside though, it would be wonderful to see this bridge refreshed, revived and revitalised.


Working hard to restore sections of the canal and running trips on Dragonfly is the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust whose aim it is to: ‘protect, conserve and improve the route of the Wilts & Berks and North Wilts Canals, and branches, for the benefit of the community and environment, with the ultimate goal of restoring a continuous navigable waterway linking the Kennet & Avon canal near Melksham, the River Thames near Abingdon, and the Thames & Severn canal near Cricklade.’

Here’s a link to the Swindon section of the trust’s website: http://www.wbct.org.uk/branches/swindon