Blue Flower

Before the footbridge we had to cross the river in waders, or go down to the road bridge and back up the other side to work on the opposite bank, also walkers on the footpath were unable to visit the mill.

We measured up on 17/3/16 to find the narrowest crossing point which was the upper staunch opposite the blacksmith area, so we decided to put our bridge across here.

The bridge was designed and made between 24/3/16 and 31/3/16 in the workshop at the maltings. A wheel bearing was used for the rotating part and scaffold staging with boards attached is the main structure. This is fixed to the hub with a pivoting mechanism to allow it to tilt when swinging into position. The pivot pin can be pulled out to allow complete removal of the bridge if required. The turntable parts were made in the workshop from metal plate.

Handrails were fabricated from tubing which slot into brackets on the side of the bridge. It was painted on 14/4/16 ready to be taken to the mill.

The hub unit was fitted in the ground and allowed to set, ready for the bridge which was taken to the mill and installed on 23/4/16 when we also had a barbecue and opening ceremony for our railway wagon

Two telescopic feet were fitted on 9/5/16 to make it sturdy when in position and a few years later on 23/5/19 a box of bricks was added as a counterweight which makes it easy for one person to operate the bridge by sitting on the box of bricks and legging it round.

We have used the bridge at many work parties to cross the river for mowing the footpath, fitting a bench with side tables for walkers to use opposite the water wheel, topping up our box of cards on the notice board and many other tasks. We also crossed the bridge to clear two fallen trees blocking the Nar Valley Way.

Visitors on Thursdays regularly join us to look round (we have a sign inviting them across) and on open days visitors can cross the bridge to get good views from the opposite bank, as well as joining us from the footpath from Narborough, Pentney and Marham.

There is a good view of the mill from the bridge and the staunch feature in the river bed can also be seen. The bridge is put across the river when we are working at the mill and swung away at all other times to prevent unauthorised access.

Graham Bartlett      Interactive Plan     Upper Staunch      Blacksmith Area  

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