Jean has been having a Festival of Bridges over on her blog Social Bridge which means she has asked fellow bloggers to submit photos and words on the theme of bridges. It is the kind of thing I would like to do one day when I build up my online community the way Jean has done. Her blog is very popular and really worth a visit (and a follow). She has had some wonderful contributions from around the world. Here’s mine. I rushed it and I thought after I sent it that it was bit gloomy and not very ‘festivally’ but Jean still included it. Here’s the link to the post. Thanks Jean…
I was racking my brain for bridges but out of thousands of photos none stood out then yesterday I was asked to drive some of my fellow art students out to the Red Iron Bridge on the Suir in Co. Waterford. The Red Iron Bridge is north of the City of Waterford and just south of the new bridge which takes traffic around the city. The bridge has been closed for years now, the tracks rotten and rusted.
It is a bridge that has drawn the young people of Waterford (not a few art students among them) for more than a few generations and its position near the city but spanning the river at an unbuilt-up spot probably makes it one of the few ‘wilderness’ spots familiar to otherwise urban youth.
To get there you take a tiny, muddy path up from a narrow road, near where the old railway track crossed it on a small ivy covered bridge. A couple of minutes of twisting through bushes and trees and past low grey walls tagged with graffiti brings you onto the tracks. You are immediately aware of the swirling brown water below and the places where the tracks are rusty. It makes me very nervous.
The last time I was here, ten years ago, I climbed out over the railings to by pass the fence blocking the track to make my way to sit atop one of the pillars legs dangling and nerves slightly jangled. This time I left the stunts to the the younger people.
This bridge along with the city bridge is iconic to Waterford people I think for the river in Waterford has taken more more than a few lives, some accidental, many not, and more than one soul has ended up at the feet of the Red Iron.