The Swing Bridge

bridge0002Rather than being on the water, we’re traversing it by train this time, as I attempted to model a historic broadland swing bridge. This particularly idyllic example is heavily inspired by that of Reedham, and the near-identical twin at Somerleyton. I’m sure we all recognise it as the backdrop to Annabel Croft on the Norfolk episode of Interceptor.

Built at the turn of the twentieth century, succeeding older, single-track structures, the two were – and still are – instrumental in linking both Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft to the city of Norwich without disruption to wherry trade.

bridge0001There’s a single red flag flying above the signal box, which means swinging will happen on request…

bridge0004Note that the derelict drainage mill appears to have been demolished in all but one of the shots. In reality, I removed it because I thought it jarring, conflicting with the bridge, which really is the star of the show here. As a compromise, I did regenerate the mill and give it a shot of its own:

I had this brainwave in the shower, naturally, and by the time I’d got myself in any condition to make, had convinced myself that this would be too much for both the computer and myself. How happy I am to have, in this instance at least, proven that persistent voice of doubt wrong – even if I was up until after 5AM tending to it. That may sound naughty; it is late even for me! But I rarely sleep anyway, so I think it better to be up and doing stuff. There’s much to be said for having the dawn chorus as soundtrack!


  1. Jeez, your productivity is putting me to shame, and is reminding me that i must really get off The Internet now! Anyhoo, i love swing bridges. Actually, any bridge that moves- such a cool engineering concept. I remember as a littlun being in the car, and us having to stop at bridge that was opening up in the middle to allow a boat to pass. I’d never seen anything like it, and it was incredibly exciting for my little self 🙂

    Anyhoo- proper going now! Hopefully will chat again sometime soon. Stay creative and productive!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Haha, you know, you always say this when I myself am glum for my lack of creativity! 😛 I haven’t made anything all week. I blame the heat. Heat stifles everything.

      I used to love that too! Even now, it throws a bit of a change into my walk to town. A simple joy. I do remember as a child, though, being terrified as I was on the bridge when the really angry bell went off to alert its imminent rise, and all the barriers starting coming down. Apparently I thought they were going to raise the bridge with us still on it; I’m sure I nearly pulled my mother’s arm off rushing to the other side! 😉

      Farewell, and thanks for putting up with me as much as you’ve had to. That in itself is quite an achievement. It’ll be quiet here without you, but I’ll always be thinking of you and wishing you well. Take care and have fun. J xxx


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