An historic Matlock Bath landmark has been restored to its former glory.
Countless pleas from the Mercury, local people and visitors alike to have the Jubilee Bridge renovated have been answered, as Derbyshire Dales District Council officially reopened it to the public on Wednesday.
It’s taken more than just a lick of paint to get the jewel in Matlock Bath’s crown restored to its original state.
Months of hard work and £210,000 of the district council’s cash have been invested in revamping the old Jubilee Bridge, which straddles the River Derwent in the heart of the attraction.
Opened in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, the bridge was first built by Butterley and Co of Ripley, however in recent years it has fallen into a state of disrepair.
Derby firm GF Tomlinson Ltd was tasked with bringing the historic structure back to life, with help from specialist Matlock firm APM Blasting Services Ltd.
Paul Mumby, who owns the blasting firm, said: “Before I could repaint the bridge there was 127 years of paint to remove.
“My company has specialised blast cleaning equipment to do this work.
“Once this was back to the original base metal I could then repaint the bridge with many coats of very high specification paint.”
He explained that due to the length and weight of the bridge, it had to be surrounded in scaffolding with a sealed cover over it, which was completed in two halves.
He used a high pressure air compressor which blasts an abrasive grit at the metalwork to remove the paint.
Aside from the work carried out by Paul, lights have been installed on the bridge and woodwork replaced.
Paul concluded: “Matlock Bath can now be proud of the newly renovated Jubilee Bridge.”
A spokesman for the district council said the work on the bridge had been completed both on time and to budget, adding: “The bridge has been returned to its original four colours – warm stone, blueish grey, deep chocolate and golden yellow – and the great news is that the restoration work by Derbyshire company Tomlinsons has been completed in good time for the district council’s 2014 Matlock Bath Illuminations, which start their 117th season on September 6.”