Worcester Bridge 1932
- 28th October 2017
85 years ago today HRH Edward, Prince of Wales, visited Worcester to officially open the widened Worcester Bridge and the remodelled Cripplegate Park. Photos of this event, and the preceding engineering works, are contained in an archive deposit which has just been added to the online catalogue.
Mr C I Carey Walker was the city engineer in the 1930s, and heavily involved in widening the bridge to enable it to cope with the increased motor traffic. He kept a record of this through photos and a programme of the celebration day. A few years ago a relative of his came to us and asked whether we would like to add these to the archives and make them available to the wider public. We had a look and said we’d love to take them.
Worcester Bridge was opened in 1781, replacing an earlier bridge. In 1841 it was widened by adding footpaths on either side, and nearly a century later it was realised that there was a need to widen it further to allow modern traffic to cross more easily.
The packed visit of the Royal visitor began by being met at the city boundary by the Mayor, High Sherriff and Lord Lieutenant. HRH was then taken to the war memorial outside the Cathedral where he laid a wreath, which was presented to him by Ellen Dancox, widow of Fred Dancox who had won the Victoria Cross in the Great War.
After visiting the Cathedral the next stop was the bridge which he was asked to officially reopen. This was done by cutting a red and black ribbon with a sword said to be of the type used by the forces of Charles II during the Battle of Worcester. City officials involved in the project, presumably including Mr Carey Walker, were presented to him.
After crossing the bridge HRH was taken to Cripplegate Park, which had been remodelled, and he was given a golden key to open the park gates and declare the park open. Whilst there the Prince was met by 1500 school children and the band of the 8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment played for him.
Appropriately enough the Prince visited the Royal Infirmary and Royal Porcelain Works during his visit. He also visited the Guildhall, where he dined privately, and then went to the Cinderella Works and the Metal Box company at Perry Wood.
Judging from the descriptions in the official programme, the newspapers and photographs large crowds had come out for the Royal visit and as many people were officially introduced to the Prince as they could manage.
This collection is now added to the archive and available to be viewed in the searchroom in The Hive. This, along with archive deposits added over the past 15 years, can be searched for on our online catalogue.
The photos were copies by our digitization team.