If you have passed over the Wood Lane bridge during the last few weeks, it would have been very difficult not to notice the collapsing end section of the bridge wall. The wall was at imminent risk of falling into the railway cutting below, so action needed to be taken quickly to protect the structure of the bridge.
As a charity community project relying entirely on donations, paying for contractors to repair the bridge was beyond our financial capabilities. Nevertheless the Mountsorrel Railway project couldn't simply stand back and let the bridge collapse, so our volunteers decided to rise to the challenge and rescue the bridge ourselves!
We still needed tools and materials to undertake the work so, with the bridge only days away from collapse, we set about contacting local companies appealing for help. We're very pleased to say that the owners of Mountsorrel Granite Quarry, Lafarge Aggregates, responded quickly and offered to provide hand tools and materials to undertake the restoration! We're deeply grateful to Lafarge for offering to assist with this kind donation and at such very short notice! It's great to know that local businesses support our efforts to preserve Mountsorrel's heritage.
With tools in hand, work was able to start last Saturday. With only hammers and chisels our team of volunteers began carefully separating each of the granite stones. All of the important stones were labelled to ensure they could be replaced in their original positions when the bridge is rebuilt over the coming weeks.
The removed stones have all been removed from site to prevent the possibility of theft. This was an undertaking in itself as there are over 350 stones weighing around four tonnes in total!
With volunteers working on Saturdays, we estimate it will take seven weeks to restore the wall to its former glory. Further website updates will detail the work over the coming weeks. If you are passing whilst the team is at work, please say hello: we'd be happy to answer any questions you have about the project.
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The Mountsorrel Railway is part of the Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre. This website is no longer updated. For updates see: http://heritage-centre.co.uk/