Thursday 3 April 2014

Refurbishing the HIA Footbridge for Broadway - "The Broadway Station Footbridge"

As you will know, through the good offices of Andrew Goodman, the Henley in Arden Footbridge was rescued from destruction, and is currently being stored and refurbished at Moveright International's premises at Wishaw, prior to is return to Broadway.

BAG Volunteer Jin Hitchen is leading a team to undertake the management and refurbishment of the footbridge. Jim as part of a team of 7 volunteers, spent yesterday (Wednesday 2nd April) starting this process off.  Here is Jim's report and photos:-

Today was the first expedition to Wishaw, for a party of seven, to start on the restoration of the Henley in Arden footbridge. On arrival we were greeted by the welcome sight of a 25 ton crane, already set up in the outer yard and preparing to lift the two gas axed step supports from where they had been stored on the main span.

The crane then moved into the inner yard and under the careful guidance of George Forrest and Roger J a number of lifts were carried out which resulted in moving both sets of steps and both side towers so that we could gain safe access to these for measuring and preparation purposes.  This completed our first main objective.

Peter Q and Peter T then were able to undertake a thorough measuring exercise so that we can now produce some working sketches for estimating purposes, specifically for the timber requirements.  The Peters were joined by Roger J and approximately 50% of the floor timber in the footpath span section of the footbridge was recovered.  This appears in very good condition and may be useful as spares in future.

Keith and Ian from the C&W department, a new and very welcome addition to the usual BAG volunteer team, spent most of the morning working on the main span removing guttering and electrical bits in preparation for sandblasting in due course.  Later on they continued this preparation work with Roger on the two towers.

Shortly after lunch John Balderstone arrived and set about running his professional eye over the entire structure.  At the end he appeared reasonably happy with what he had seen, although there are a couple of very badly corroded sections towards the centre of both the towers.  This is in addition of the need to undertake work on the bottom of both towers and both step supports, where these have been gas axed.

Before the two tower sections can be released for sandblasting we need to compete the removal of the last and most stubborn bits.  On the main span we need to take up the wooden floor and also remove some high level timber which supports the guttering.  A similar sized group could probably achieve this in a day subject to good weather.

Finally I think we have finally pieced together the jigsaw and now know which bit fits to where.  So in conclusion quite a successful day and hopefully John Balderstone will soon be able to give us his professional opinion on how best to continue with this restoration.

Regards   Jim H.


Anonymous said...

Great work guys! Do you know what happened to the Hall Green footbridge?

Jim H. said...

Yes it is still in situ at Hall Green and when I visited the site last month it was all covered over while shot blasting was in progress. So I guess it is staying at Hall Green.

Jim H.