Because of Technical Problems
Today’s Blog
Has Been Curtailed
The Tale Of FOUR Bridges : Or Five??
Part A

Four riayds cross the docks area of Birkenhead as on the modern map above. Two RED roads (A roads), one GREEN road (Trunk road) and, bottom right, one YELLOW road (purely local). Each has a bridge over the water.

But there have been problems and fbb doesn’t refer to the technical fandango that has interrupted this bloke!
Here is an on-libe picture of a Birkenhead Docks Railway Company train crossing a bridge. The caption says it is a swing bridge!

It is, in dact, a bascule lifting bridge. The deck is pivoted at one side and has a gurt big counterweight as seen in this modernised structure which fbb will identify later.

The deck can be raised to near vertical to allow maximum size of ships to pass through.

This open bridge shot adds another complication to your elderly blogger’s research. He who posted it is not sure where it is; which of the four bridges it might be. fbb (clever clogs) has worked out that it is NOT the same bridge with steam train as shown higher above!

We start, tentatively. at the far left (west) with the Wallasey Bridge, so called because it was the first bridge across the Wallasey Water which was ultimately developed into the docks of the recent past. As you might gues, it carried the only road from Birkenhead to Wallasey!

Because the Bidston Dock, formerly a huge iron ore terminal …

… has been decommissioned and filled in, the bridge is barely necessary now and doesn’t swing …

… but the old control post temains.

Former Wallasey bus on Penny Bridge -1973
Penny Bridge was until the late 19th century the only bridge across the Wallasey Pool and had a one penny toll. The bridge in the picture was built in 1926 and was the only major moving bridge to remain as a swing bridge, all the others having been converted to bascule type in the 1930s. Note the panel on the left hand girder indicating the scale of tolls. The bridge was replaced by a fixed roadway in 1996 after the closure of Bidston Dock.
The water became known as The Great Float, but is later referred to as The West Float and The East Float as labelled on the modern map at the head of this blog.
Next eastwards is Duke Street Bridge.
It used to be a swing bridge …

… with some rather splendid but very basic traffic control.

Those rails are not for trams but for the aforementioned Birkenhead Docks railway network which we met in passing in yesterdays blog.

The bridge marks the boundary between the West Float and the East Float.

Dike Street Bridge was rebuilt as a bascule and for many tears still carried trains …

It now has a smoothe road surface and no trains …

… but can still lift if mevessary. 

On the northern bank is Wirral Waters and readers will guess that this sweetie name is for a new housing etc development on the old dockside.

And that tower with the pointy top …

To Be Continued Tomorrow
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