The Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust is working in partnership with Great Yarmouth Borough Council to deliver the repair and renovation of Vauxhall Bridge.
Phase 1 of this project has been supported by Community Connections with a Fairshare grant, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Norfolk County Council, Railway Heritage Trust Railway Paths, Asda, Abellio Greater Anglia Ltd., and finally Vauxhall Links, a voluntary organisation headed by Miriam Kikis who began a campaign many years ago for the bridge to be refurbished.
The Phase 1 restoration work has been carried out by the Moreton Partnership, a firm of conservation structural engineers, which has undertaken repairs to the metal work on the eastern span, installed a new cycle and footbridge, blasted off and disposed of the old lead paint, and re-painted the bridge in a traditional colour red.
The public has been able to use the new route from the beginning of October 2013. The Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust will now work with partners to seek funding from external bodies to restore the western span.
To read a history of the Bridge, click History of Vauxhall Bridge
Vauxhall Bridge, March 2012, by Derek Jackson
All Our Stories Vauxhall Links Project
Vauxhall Links is a constituted community group initiated by Miriam Kikis to engage the community in the repair of Vauxhall Bridge.
Vauxhall Links was successful in an application to Heritage Lottery fund for an ‘All our Stories’ grant to deliver an exciting community based project celebrating the history of the town’s transport heritage and exploring the important role that bridges, waterways, railways and tramways have played in the town’s development. Vauxhall Links and Fair Share have also contributed funds to the project budget.
Matthew Harrison is leading the delivery of this project with administrative support provided by Caroline Fernandes. Matthew has been working in collaboration with Great Yarmouth Community Library and Time and Tide Museum to record local peoples memories of the town’s present and former railway stations, tramways and Vauxhall Bridge for future posterity.
Vauxhall Links held its first memory sharing day on Saturday 19th at Great Yarmouth Community Library. Despite the icy weather several local people shared their memories of Vauxhall Bridge and Yarmouth's train stations of the past. The group would like to thank everyone who attended the day and gave up their time to have their stories recorded and also the volunteers who helped to interview and make the day a success. Local man, Maurice Nudd, (pictured) told of how he was due to start his first day of work at Yarmouth Southtown station on February 1st 1953, the morning after the nights of the infamous 1953 floods. The station was severely flooded along with the surrounding area, although Vauxhall Station was not as severely effected so he had to begin work there instead. Margaret Elmer brought in some of her treasured photographs to be scanned.
Several people, including 87 year old Jack Stowers, engine driver, fireman and station supervisor responded to the article in the local press and have also shared their stories for the project. Local historian Andrew Fakes helped to interview Mr Stowers at his home.
An exciting part of this project has been the painting of a 200 ft. community mural installed along the path from the bridge. It was designed as an illustrated timeline, showing how the area around the bridge and station is integral to Yarmouth's history. As well as a Big Draw event held at the station last year, for which a special award was won, mural design workshops were delivered at the library to collect ideas and drawings created by participants. The mural was unveiled on Tuesday 10th September, 2013.
Vauxhall Links held a public photographic competition and exhibition to celebrate Vauxhall Bridge and the bridges in the Borough of Great Yarmouth. This was presented at the Central Library in Great Yarmouth, NR30 2SH, from Tuesday 24th September to Saturday 12th October, 2013. Also shown at this event was the beautiful animation "Carry on Bridge", which tells the story of the bridge and was created by a group of young people under Matthew's tuition. To see the animation click here.
The Great Yarmouth Tram Trail was launched at the opening of the Bridge exhibition. By scanning the bar codes on this trail map you can view photos of how the tramways, railways and town once looked. Great Yarmouth Tram Trail (2.8 MB)