The Canal & River Trust has started a series of improvements to the canal through Braunston, putting to good use a generous legacy of around £165,000 from the late waterways supporter and local resident Peter Andrews.
While it was not a specified condition in the will, the indication was that it was Mr Andrews’ wish for the gift to be used to replace the stepped and narrow ‘ladder’ bridge, which carries the Grand Union Canal towpath over an entrance to Braunston Marina.
The Trust has been working for some time to find an affordable design for a new bridge that’s wider and has access ramps; however, after an extensive tender exercise, the cost of doing so has proven to be well beyond the value of the legacy, at around £400,000.
Determined that Mr Andrew’s gift to the canal should be used in full to improve the waterway through Braunston, the charity has agreed with the executor of the will to a range of improvements with initial investigation works already started.
As part of the improvements Bridge 91a, at the entrance to Braunston Marina, is set to be refurbished. Works will include repointing the historic brickwork, cleaning and repainting the cast iron elements of the bridge and resurfacing it with a resin-bonded anti-slip surface.
The Trust would also like to resurface and raise the towpath and improve access to Bridge 1, relaying the bridge landing and ramps in resin-bonded surface to match Bridge 91A.
Finally, the charity plans to ensure a lasting recognition of Mr Andrews’ generous gift by renaming Bridge 91A’ Peter’s Bridge’. A new bridge number plaque, reading ’91A, Peter’s Bridge’, will provide a lasting tribute to Mr Andrews’ remarkable contribution to his local canal.
Linny Beaumont, regional director at the Canal & River Trust, comments: “As the charity working to protect and preserve the canal for this and future generations, the gift from Mr Andrews is a very welcome and generous legacy. Whilst we had hoped to replace the ‘ladder’ bridge as originally proposed, it has been agreed with the executor of Mr Andrew’s will that the gift will fund other vital repairs to the canal through Braunston. We look forward to completing the works and celebrating the life of Mr Andrews when renaming Bridge 91A later this year.”
The Trust has borne the cost of all the investigative work to date, meaning that the gift’s total value remains intact and will be used entirely to benefit the canal at Braunston.
The Trust presented the planned improvements to Braunston Parish Council on Monday 6th, March and it is hoped that works will begin in the Summer.
To find out more about the work of the Canal & River Trust, including how you can support through volunteering or making a donation go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk