Bridges. What’s in a name?
Allan recounts the history of the various bridges around the village, along with some old names for them.
When I was lad we called the bridge along the Penrith road the ‘Bowlo’ bridge because it was next to the old bowling green. The bridge along the road heading to Poplin was called Gandi’s bridge because Archie Norman (Gandi) lived just over the wall. The bridge down the old road was called, well, the old road bridge.
It was some time later after looking at maps etc. that I found out that all these bridges had proper names. Bowlo bridge is called Thorpe bridge. Gandi’s bridge is called Sharkey bridge. The old road bridge is called Storch bridge.
When the road was altered in 1939 the new bridge was called New Storch bridge and there is plaque calling it that on the right hand side heading towards Penrith.
The Plaque is erected on Sharkey Bridge
I wondered why Sharkey bridge was so called, so I went to the Greystoke equivalent of Google, and asked Alan Hayton. It was named after the man that designed and built it, a Mr. Sharkey. He was an Irishman, an architect and stonemason, and was employed on Greystoke castle estate many moons ago. There is building on the estate also named after him, a stone barn? I am not sure where.
Anyway when a group of us decided to reclaim and restore the waste ground either side of the beck beside Sharkey bridge, we named it Sharkey park. We also felt it was important that the name of the bridge was made known to everyone, so we managed to raise a little bit of cash and got a plaque made.
The Village in 1926
As Allan says, you can clearly see the names of the bridges on this old OS map from 1926, which I am sure will spark further discussion!
Copyright statement: The featured map image on this post is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland