When last have I showed you anything about the Royal Canal? Or barges, boats and canals? Not too long ago really. There’s always a boat or two lurking somewhere in the background. But I do have a first for you. I’ve always managed to miss the lifting of said ‘Effin Bridge’.
Just in case you’re not too sure about such a name for a bridge, I’ll give you a bit of background again. Newcomen Bridge as it’s known in official circles, is a four-posted metal lifting rail bridge located within Irish Rail ground. There has been some heated debate between a variety of officials as to who exactly should be allowed to operate this fine relic of engineering. Needless to say… mostly all the folk that really benefit from the lifting of the bridge have very little say in the matter. They have to be thankful for every opportunity… when the bridge lifts get through… otherwise you may well have to wait for next year’s spring!
Yes… the thing only lifts half a dozen times a yer. Yep… so… as can be expected, one is likely to hear comments like “When is that ‘effing thing’ lifting again?” I think I’m correct in saying the term actually found a place in Irish boating folklore when Dick Warner was actually heard to mutter the sentiment in the first episode of the Royal Canal TV series aired last year.
There I was… waiting with bated breath… for the appearance of 31B. While senior son was playing cricket in Phoenix Park junior son was official crew for 31B’s master, MF. Their dash down the remaining section of the canal had been quite stressful. A few holdup’s along the way almost scuppering MF’s plan to make it through before the dreaded decent of the bridge. With the Tall Ships due later this week it was imperative to get through if he wanted to join all the other boats who’ll be part of the fun.
That bridge plays a key part in what is to become of the usage of the Royal Canal. When the bridge is down boats cannot move west into Royal or east from the Royal to the Grand Canal and beyond. Boats cannot complete the Green and Silver. It would be a shame in these tight times, especially within a few short years of the canal’s reopening to navigation, if further restrictions forces less use of a fantastic amenity.
Let’s hope the effing thing stays operational for many years to come. I still need to pass beneath at some point in time… mind you… I wonder how many of the boating folk have had the privileged of passing over the bridge… as I told of last week.
Monday again… do enjoy your week… have fun, even if the sun doesn’t always shine! 😉