Images from the Duck Race 2022 held at Lady Julian Bridge on the River Wensum. What a crowd!
Proceeds from the Duck Race were given to a fund for Ukrainian children.
5000 ducks of all colours took part, but didn’t race towards the Millenium Bridge as reported in the Norwich Evening News! They only went a few meters from the bridge in the direction of Foundry Bridge.
It was a fun event and all for a good cause and brilliant to see the crowds out enjoying the spectacle, alongside the Lord Mayor of Norwich.
Carrow Bridge is a lifting bridge. Unfortunately, I have never been lucky enough to see it lift up. I like to peer into the little control hut and imagine it in operation. Despite my best attempts to find a video of it opening, so far, I haven’t been successful. All I can find is a video of the test opening in 2018 to allow TS Lord Nelson aka HMS Vale pass through, which isn’t particularly interesting!
The current Carrow Bridge was constructed in 1923 to replace the old bridge to the South. More recently, there have been plans by the council to weld the bridge shut. Read a press release from the Norwich Society about this here.
Reginald Dann, lived in Carrow Bridge House (the former bridge master’s house) for more than 50 years until it was sold at auction. Thankfully, a plan by the county council to demolish it was defeated by the city council.
You can see images of the bridge open here in an EDP article, when the TS Lord Nelson passed through in 2004. There is also a nice image in the article of the The ship “Paullgate” of Hull carrying cargo under Carrow bridge at the port of Norwich. Dated 20 May 1966. The TS Lord Nelson was eventually decommissioned and now rests in Bristol.
I walk across the bridge at least once every day, and I also cross it every night. I enjoy looking out over both sides of Carrow bridge, but my favourite view is looking back up the river past the Devil’s Tower towards old Paper Mill Yard.
You can read more about the history of the Devil’s Tower here – it is a virtually unique structure in England, built in the early 14th century. Directly opposite is the Windlass Tower.
I will write more about the Wensum Boom Towers in future posts.
A view further up from Carrow Bridge.
Carrow Bridge by night.
I frequently pass under the bridge, on the way into the city. It is a favourite spot for pigeons to court in the spring. There is also the occasional dove.
Sometimes swans sit in the wooden under-structure compartments as if they were stables. I am sure there is a technical name for the structure, but I have no idea what it is.
Eric and Erica, the Egyptian geese, like to perch on the wooden sidings that are there to guide boats through, but usually they are keeping guard on the river bank. Occasionally, a heron perches near the bridge too.
On summer nights, if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of bats performing aerobatics around the bridge.
Street Art under Carrow Bridge
Every now and then, new street art appears under the bridge. These images have disappeared now, which is a shame because I really liked them. They are preferable to the meaningless tagging that crops up everywhere (not meaningless to gangs, I guess, but still an eyesore).
Springtime on the River Wensum, Norwich has arrived at last. It feels as though it has been a long winter and although there is always something to see waterside, life gets far more interesting as the temperature rises.
I have spent the last two years photographically recording the River Wensum through the seasons, and I continue to do so. The different styles of architecture, modern and old, are fascinating to shoot. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to shoot from a boat. My choice of craft is a canoe. It can be a bit wobbly which worries me sometimes but it’s flexible in getting good camera angles. It’s a whole new city from the water!
Where once there were Wherries and ships, now there are leisure boats, paddle boards, canoes and dinghies. Industrial use of the Wensum ceased in the 1980’s. I like to imagine how the Wensum thrived as a port. The industrial buildings all have their own stories. One of my favourite buildings is the old Furniture Restoration barn (see below). The corrugated metal it was created from has worn and rusted over the years. I like the way it is described on the Geograph site as being in a state of ‘picturesque dilapidation’.
There are other elderly buildings I love along the river but I will detail those in future posts.
Each post will focus on a particular aspect of the river whether it be the Cormorants, Barnacle or Egyptian Geese, my beloved swans, Kingfishers or the medieval bridges, historical buildings such as Pull’s Ferry and Norwich Cathedral. I will drop in some history but mostly it will be how I see the river through my eyes, here in 2022, as it continues to change and evolve.
There is so much to look at and investigate, I hope you will subscribe to see the River Wensum through my eyes and enjoy my observations, perhaps even adding your own. The other benefit to subscribing is that every month I create a free notebook giveaway. All you have to do is leave your email address (don’t worry about getting bombarded, I don’t post all that often!)
My next post will give a brief history of the Wensum and explore the bridges.