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Stockport viaduct gets shown up

Twenty seven arched wonder over the Mersey to shine once more

Published on February 3rd 2010.


Stockport viaduct gets shown up

Sometime in the murky depths of the twentieth century Britain's worst popular artist LS Lowry decided to set the image of Greater Manchester back by decades. Thus he always painted Manchester in the 1930s even though he was working in the 1960s and he missed out cars, diesel trains, planes and anything modern, because he simply didn't like it.

Stockport Council, with Network Rail and the Highways Agency, have replaced all the broken floodlighting so this grand glory of the town can be shown off in all its magnificence once again.

One of the victims of the miserablist's dark vision was Stockport Viaduct which he made to look like the bridge between Hell and Damnation.

Now as dark descends it might look a little more inspirational.

Stockport Council, with Network Rail and the Highways Agency, have replaced all the broken floodlighting so this grand glory of the town can be shown off in all its magnificence once again.

The 33.8m (111 ft) high bridge is one of Western Europe 's biggest brick structures and represents a major feat of Victorian engineering. Eleven million bricks were used in its construction (in a poll shortly after, the man who counted the bricks, was voted: 'Stopfordian with the most time on his hands').

The word Stopfordian by the way is the title of folk from Stockport: like Mancunian for people from Manchester.

Anyway back to the subject in hand. The first viaduct was built in 1842 and widened from two to four tracks between 1887-89. It underwent a facelift in 1989 in a £3m restoration project.

Confidential likes the quote from Councillor David White, Executive Member for Transportation in Stockport. He said: “Replacing the lights on the viaduct is a major task but something which we consider an important one as it marks the gateway to Stockport . The job isn’t easy but it means that the viaduct can once again be viewed in its full splendour. It also provides extra security for motorists and pedestrians during the darker nights.”

We like it because it's so typical. Cllr White has to mention security as though to justify the expense.

We wish he'd just said: “Dear Stopfordians, in a gesture aimed at nothing other than increasing the aesthetic awareness of the town's citizens and of producing oohs and aahs of appreciation from visitors passing nearby or under the viaduct we have spent your money on a scheme of beauty. Loveliness was the only consideration, nothing more, nothing less.”

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Brian JenkinsFebruary 3rd 2010.

Regarding the 1989 restoration project it was only a success depending on which way you drove round the M60. If you came from Cheadle it looked like a good wash and brush up had taken place. If you came from Bredbury...well, they ran out of cash so the shot blasting wasn't done and still has the Victorian soot coloured facade.

Philip PainterFebruary 4th 2010.

I hope they're going to use low-energy light bulbs.

TaffetaFebruary 4th 2010.

Do people think hi-energy drinks should be banned as a danger to the environment?

DescartesFebruary 4th 2010.

What does that have to do with ANYTHING?

Dave SpannerFebruary 4th 2010.

I live in Stockport, and personally I'm glad the lights are back because they look nice. I wish they were coloured though, maybe white, blue and red like the Stockport flag.

AnonymousFebruary 5th 2010.

I have only moved to Stockport recently and I am glad that the viaduct has been given some glamour, I dont feel like I am living in the dark ages anymore!:)

Dave SpannerFebruary 5th 2010.

Did they have Viaducts in the dark ages? :P

AgricolaFebruary 5th 2010.

Yes they did Dave. Loads of them built by the Romans although also called bridges and sometimes if they had water features called aqueducts.

TrevorFebruary 7th 2010.

I think they should stone clad it - like the eighties fashion.

Ali McGowanNovember 18th 2010.

It's a great structure, but I wish it was red not orange :)

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