In the gentle evening, a group gathered by the river. As joggers, cyclists and dog walkers passed over Chadkirk Bridge, the group listened with interest.
Since 2007 Paul Griffiths has been involved in the project to build a bridge at Chadkirk. As Project Manager he was able to share his experience and his detailed knowledge of the site. Given his engineering expertise, you’d expect that he would be able to talk enthusiastically about the structure and it’s design. In addition there were many other aspects of the site that came out in the discussion.
The bridge design had been chosen by members of the public when residents in adjacent areas were polled and asked to select a design from a short list of three. Planners had been surprised when the cable stay bridge (similar to, though smaller than, the bridge seen from M60 near Sale Water Park) was rejected. For every vote cast for the cable stay design there were 7 residents who voted for the current bridge design.
A further consultation is taking place about the plans for a Portrait Bench near to the bridge. This is part of Sustrans’ commitment. Visitors to the Chadkirk Festival who stopped by the Sustrans stall were able to have their say on the characters who feature in the Portrait Bench.
For more information about the Sustrans Portrait benches (including images)
In the coming weeks the Connect2 project team will be posting information on-line for a poll about the local contenders for the Chadkirk Portrait Bench. While Padiham plumped for their famous local witches, we have a more saintly possibility: St. Chad. Also attracting local support: Douglas Tattersall. He was the inspiration and driving force behind the decision to buy Etherow and Chadkirk for the people of Stockport.
The river played a key role in the siting of the mill at Chadkirk. Evidence of this can be seen below Chadkirk Bridge; the weir and the stone tunnels are structures designed to feed water to the mill. Information boards around Chadkirk tell some of the story. A new board will be placed near the bridge and add more to complete the picture.
In the twenty first century, the river’s contribution to the local economy continues. A few hundred metres downstream is the recently installed Archimedes Screw, generating hydro-electric power.