Monday, 1 December 2008
Captain Clarke's Bridge
The City Daily Photo Blog theme is Circles or Spheres.
Question: How does a horse towing a boat perform a circle and cross to the other side of the canal without being unhitched?
Answer: Use a roving bridge.
Here is the famous Captain Clarke's Bridge on the Peak Forest Canal as photographed about 1900.
It is named after the navel officer, John Clarke who lived at Wood End in the 19th century.
The towpath changes sides at this point. The horse, pulling a narrowboat along with a towline attached to its harness, would walk under the bridge then up around the curve, over the canal and down the other side. If the boat was going the other way, the horse would cross the bridge then curve down and go under the bridge. Because the towpath goes under the bridge before circling upwards, the towline could remain attached the whole time, which would save the boatmen time and fiddling about.
Another roving bridge on this stretch is the Manchester Road Canal Bridge, of which you can see more on Hyde Daily Photo.
To view thumbnails for all participants to the "circles/spheres" theme, visit the CDPB portal.