LETTER: Do you recall bridge plaques?

Can I appeal to readers who have memories of the Worthing that existed 60 or more years ago?

These readers may be able to supply some important missing information.

Those living in Worthing today will know of the bridge that carries Shaftesbury Avenue over the railway line at Durrington, West Worthing. Some will have noticed that at the apex of this bridge, cut into the concrete parapets there and facing each other across the road, are two empty recesses, each 3ft (90cm) x 14in (36cm) x about 0.5in (1cm) in depth.

These recesses (see pictures, above) have holes drilled at their corners. We know from research carried out in the reference library, Worthing, and in the records office, Chichester, that certainly one of these recesses was to hold a dedicatory plaque to mark the official opening of the bridge, scheduled for 1937. The words to be on the plaque are known.

The bridge was indeed finished in 1937 and in June of that year the bridge passed load bearing tests. Yet for the next two years the bridge remained closed to all except pedestrian traffic. Why was this? To the present day the bridge has not been officially opened for either pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

Concerning the empty recesses. Do you remember a time when they held plaques? And if fitted, when the plaques were removed?

Peter Bartlett

Lansdowne Road

Worthing

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