100 Year Clarendon Bridge Anniversary
On July 17th the Clarendon Bridge will be 100 years old
In 1851 there was no bridge over the Onkaparinga River and when the river was in flood people living on the other side had to wait until the flood waters receded when they could cross by bullock dray. The local school teacher supported by the doctor thought this most unsatisfactory and complained to the Central Road Board who agreed to build a bridge. The new wooden bridge with stone abutments and approaches cost 4916 pounds, 9 shillings and 1penny. In 1858 the bridge was opened with great ceremony which included a procession from the hotel led by a band.
This bridge was replaced by the present concrete structure and was opened in July 1919 by the Hon E.A. Anstey. It came in under budget at 2000 pounds instead of the estimated 3000 pounds much to the delight of all concerned. Things must have been very different in those days!
Local resident Geoff Webster’s great grandfather, his wife and 3 children were moving with all their belongings from Goodwood to take up residence in Clarendon when they were stopped at the bridge where the opening ceremony was taking place. Although somewhat difficult to see, they are in the photo.
The bridge has an interesting history. During World War II guards were stationed at each end of the bridge in sentry boxes. Holes were bored in the bridge ready to blow it up if there was an invasion. It was thought any invasion would come from the south.
Some of the local lads placed coins in the old wooden bridge which they salvaged when it was pulled down. The same boys left their mark by placing the salvaged coins in the new bridge - wonder where they are!
A section of the old wooden bridge was retained and kept at the Recreation ground until recently when it was shifted to the stables at the Historic Hall. Come and have a look at an important piece of our history
The 'concrete' Clarendon Bridge is 100 years old this year.
EVENT 21st July 2019
The CCA, with assistance from Clarendon Museum and Clarendon Primary School, are planning a community event to be held at Riverbend Park on the 21st of July. The details and activities are still being formalised so please watch this space for more information.
In preparation for the centenary Bridge celebrations, members of the Clarendon community met with local MP for Heysen, Josh Teague, to discuss the shabby appearance of our bridge. All parties agreed that the bridge was in dire need of a facelift, but remedial works would not be completed in time to coincide with celebrations. We are hoping that between the council, our local MP's team and the community, we can at least make the approaches to the bridge and it's surrounds as nice as possible for the big day. We would like to acknowledge the member for Heysen and his staff for how helpful and receptive they have been in assisting with celebration preparations so far.
Please mark the event down in your calendars, for it's shaping up to be a great event that will bring the whole community all together.