Surrey County Council may have ruled out lowering the A325 under Wrecclesham bridge – but such a solution wasn’t so quickly dismissed in the post-war years, it seems...
A few weeks ago in an article about the first double decker to drive under Wrecclesham railway bridge (July 20), Peeps into the Past posed the question: was the road lowered or the bridge raised to allow it to get through?
Well, this week we have an answer – thanks to Sue White, who contacted us and provided a wonderful child’s eye view of the work carried out at the site.
Mrs White thinks she was in St Peter’s Infant School at the time, which would date the work to about 1947.
She describes what happened below:
I read with interest the Peeps into the Past (July 20) article on Wrecclesham bridge.
I was born in Wrecclesham in 1940 and, yes, I do remember the road was lowered to allow the bus company to run double decker buses on that route.
The men worked all weekend and a noisy night (you were lucky if you got any sleep!)
On the Sunday morning, a gang of us kids from the estate went down early and sat on the bank where the Co-op is now and watched as they ran a small engine over the bridge to test the line was safe.
They then ran a train over very, very slowly, to a great cheer from everyone.
Sadly, some of the kids have died now, but there may still be some out there who can remember.
I would be interested to hear if there are. My name then was Susan Miles.
Mrs Sue White,
33, Talbot Road,
Farnham, GU9 8RR
Peeps also received this letter from David Lang that quotes a magazine article that suggests the bridge was raised, although he agrees it is more probable the road was lowered.
The dates suggested are different, so could it be that different work was carried out to the bridge on different occasions?
Your photo in the Herald of July 20 asked a number of questions.
There is a report in a bus enthusiasts’ magazine, April 1954.
I quote ...
“The Aldershot-Petersfield stage carriage route no. 6 was double-decked on 4th January 1954.
“A&D had to contribute £1,000 towards the cost of raising a bridge at Wrecclesham, near Farnham, to allow this.”
The report goes on to say that new double-deckers were used on the route, but they would not have been lower than types already in service.
A&D was of course Aldershot & District, the local bus company.
I wonder if the report was not completely accurate, and the road was lowered rather than the bridge raised.
Hope this helps.
Farnham Heritage Open Days team