SD7506 : Working on the Meccano Bridge

taken 7 years ago, near to Little Lever, Bolton, Great Britain

Working on the Meccano Bridge
Working on the Meccano Bridge
A close-up view of the 10x-scaled pieces of Meccano forming part of the new footbridge over the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal at Nob End. More cross pieces and the red side panels have been added since yesterday (SD7506 : Meccano Bridge).
The Meccano Bridge
The six-tonne bridge, costing around 90,000 and funded as a "work of public art", was designed by Fallowfield-based public artist Liam Curtin. It was constructed in 2012, using 400 scaled-up giant-sized pieces of Meccano together with 700 nuts and bolts.

Planning permission for the new bridge was granted by Bolton council in September 2012. It replaces a wooden bridge which collapsed around 50 years ago. The original bridge was used by horses crossing from the Bury arm of the canal to the Bolton arm over the top lock at Nob End. It was not replaced as the canal bed had become dry following the canal breach in 1936.

The original walls and abutments have been restored using bricks from the recently demolished workshop nearby. The completed Meccano bridge is fully functional as a walkway, standing 1.3m high and spanning 6.4m across the canal, linking Little Lever with the nearby Moses Gate Country Park.

LinkExternal link Artist builds Meccano canal bridge at Little Lever (Manchester Evening News 8th December 2012)

LinkExternal link (YouTube) interview and video showing preparatory work.
Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal
The Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal is a disused canal, built to link Bolton and Bury with Manchester. The canal, when fully completed in 1796, was 15 miles long. It was connected with the River Irwell in Salford, in 1808.

From Salford the canal ran up the Irwell valley to reach Nob End, where it climbed the Prestolee Locks, and then split into two branches leading to Bolton and Bury. The canal was built principally to serve the many collieries in the area, as well as to transport other cargo such as stone and timber.

By 1846 a parallel railway had been built to Bury, and the canal went into decline. The Bolton arm went out of use in 1924, though with some minor use until 1947. The Bury arm was breached just above Nob End in 1936, but the then isolated Bury arm continued to be used until 1951, principally between the canalside Ladyshore Colliery and Bury. The final section of the canal was officially closed in 1961, and much of it was filled in.

LinkExternal link Exploring Greater Manchester, a fieldwork guide (web edition); edited by Paul Hindle, Manchester Geographical Society
LinkExternal link Wikipedia article
LinkExternal link Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society website
LinkExternal link Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, Pennine Waterways
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SD7506, 200 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Monday, 10 December, 2012   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 11 December, 2012
Geographical Context
Construction, Development  Canals 
Canal (from Tags)
Manchester Bolton and Bury 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 7527 0647 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:33.2561N 2:22.4854W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 7526 0647
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Other Tags
Artwork  Public Art  MBBC  Canal  Bridge  Red  Green  Yellow  Meccano  Meccano Bridge  Footbridge  Scaffolding 

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