Historian Arthur R. Nicholls continues his history of Kendal’s bridges

At the north end of the town, the Dockray footbridge crosses the River Kent.

It started life in 1907 at the opposite end of the town, linking Romney Road and Burton Road.

It was a delightful little bridge, suspended from cables between lattice steel towers at each end.

At times of high wind or floods it swayed from side to side.

When the flood water came up to the bridge’s path it could feel as if one were creating the miracle of walking on water.

It was a popular footway across the river and on one occasion an intrepid motorist drove a small car across it.

Romney Road, which leads to the bridge, was planned on a grand scale to match a much larger bridge, which was not built until 1990.

The old bridge was then to be scrapped but Kendal Civic Society campaigned to rescue it and had to resited where it is now.

Opened in 1993 with great rejoicing, it is well used and appreciated today.

Its name comes from the old Dockwray Hall and Mills, which once stood nearby.

The next south is Victoria Bridge, otherwise known as Jubilee Bridge, as it was opened in 1887, celebrating the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

It linked the new road of Sandes Avenue with Station Road to form a ‘Commodious transit’ between the railway and the bridge.

The design was by Shewell & Co of Darlington, and R. & T. Pennington built the abutment and retaining walls.

The bridge was opened by the deputy mayor, who led a procession from the Town Hall.

In the procession were bands, the fire brigade, the Friendly Societies, traders and workmen.

The Kendal Hornets Football Club was cheered as it rode by in a char-a-banc, having recently won a silver cup.

A decorated platform was erected near the Bonded Warehouses and the Kendal Volunteers band ‘discoursed sweet music’.

With everyone in place, the Volunteers fired a feu de joie, the National Anthem was sung and the speeches began.

In a box were placed items such as an abstract of Dr Paget’s sanitary report for 1885, copies of the day’s newspapers, various copper and silver coins and an illuminated record of the laying of the foundation stone.

The box was placed in a cavity in the foundations, where it probably still remains as a time capsule for the future.

The bridge being formally declared open, volleys were fired from cannons near the warehouses, breaking a few windows in the process.

The bridge was Kendal’s first iron bridge over the river and the footpath still remains on the west side under the bridge, although with little headroom and not officially accessible.

The river has flooded on more than one occasion and filled its bed to the very roadway of the bridge but without causing damage.

The town coat of arms, in full colour, is to be found at each end of the bridge beside the pathways.