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Plans to open Carrow Bridge in Norwich cancelled due to nesting birds

PUBLISHED: 16:02 30 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:02 30 May 2018

Carrow Bridge raised in 2008. Photo: Andy Darnell

Carrow Bridge raised in 2008. Photo: Andy Darnell

Archant © 2008

The long-awaited raising of Carrow Bridge to allow a much-loved vessel to leave the city has been postponed - because of nesting birds.

The Norwich sea cadet boat being towed into position,  passing under the Carrow bridge in 2004 Photo: Nick ButcherThe Norwich sea cadet boat being towed into position, passing under the Carrow bridge in 2004 Photo: Nick Butcher

The bridge was scheduled to open today for the first time in 10 years, to let the Norwich Sea Cadets and Royal Marine Cadets base, the TS Lord Nelson, pass through.

The bridge was set to be tested on Thursday, May 31 at 10am but it was cancelled by Norfolk County Council workers as extra checks are needed to see if there are any nesting birds in the bridge’s structure.

The Norwich Sea Cadets decided to leave their riverside base TS Lord Nelson, or “Big Grey Boat” as it has become known, after 13 years in September 2017 as the squadron planned to moved onshore as its numbers increased.

It was unknown at the time what the future held for the boat on the Wensum but it will soon be making its way to Great Yarmouth to be scrapped.

The Norwich sea cadet boat being towed into position,  passing under the Carrow bridge in 2004. Photo: Nick ButcherThe Norwich sea cadet boat being towed into position, passing under the Carrow bridge in 2004. Photo: Nick Butcher

A spokesman for the council said: “We are yet to confirm the new date of when the test will take place but it should be very soon before the boat leaves.

“Hopefully people will still be able to come and watch the bridge raise twice. But it is a nice reason for the test to be cancelled to make sure that any birds are safe.”

During its service the TS Lord Nelson was one of the last remaining floating bases for the Sea Cadets in the country while also being one of the first sights for visitors coming out of Norwich train station.

The A147 would have been closed for up to 10 minutes while the boat passed through it before re-opening again.

The ship The ship "Paullgate" of Hull carrying cargo under Carrow bridge at the port of Norwich. Dated 20 May 1966

Carrow Bridge first opened as a toll bridge in 1810 but was 500ft further downstream from its current location and fixed in position.

In 1833 the bridge was replaced by a lifting bridge as more large boats came into Norwich due to Colmans Mustard increasing production and needing a larger bridge to meet demands.

By June 1923 the Carrow Bridge that we know today was opened by the Prince of Wales at the cost of £42,000, which in today’s money is £2.3m.

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