Time for a facelift for Matlock Bath’s Jubilee Bridge?

Jubilee Bridge, Matlock Bath
Jubilee Bridge, Matlock Bath

Would you like to see the Matlock Bath’s Jubilee Bridge restored to its former glory in time for our Queen’s summer celebrations?

The bridge, which crosses the River Derwent in the heart of the village is looking very rundown and several of you have said it is time it was given a lick of paint.

Jubilee Bridge, Matlock Bath

Jubilee Bridge, Matlock Bath

The job is on a council ‘to do’ list but might not make it to the top this year unless readers and residents call for it to be done.

Letters from concerned visitors to the area about the poor state of the historic landmark have been sent to the Mercury (see page eight) and we have received numerous comments from both residents and tourists, all in favour of giving it a revamp.

So this week we want you to let us and Derbyshire Dales District Council know what you think about the idea which will cost thousands of pounds.

The bridge was first opened in 1887 in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

Jubilee Bridge, Matlock Bath

Jubilee Bridge, Matlock Bath

Prior to that, the only access to Lovers’ Walk had been by ferry.

Over the years it has been made-over several times, but has recently started looking tired.

Matlock Bath Parish Council is worried about the bridge’s the state of disrepair and has already contacted the district council asking for the work to be done.

Nothing has happened so far and district councillor Geoff Stevens explained that it was not a simply case of being able to get on with it.

Jubilee Bridge, Matlock Bath

Jubilee Bridge, Matlock Bath

He said: “It is in our capital programme. It’s not quite as straight forward as just painting it.

“Before you paint you have to have the whole structure surveyed and of course that means putting up scaffolding.

“We have to do that in the summer when the river is low and you have a pretty short time scale as well because any work done in it has to be finished by the annual illuminations.

“So the council is actually looking at all these problems and see how they can bring it together.”

Cllr Stevens said that while the bridge was originally built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee more than 120 years ago, it was not actually completed on time.

“They raised the money for it during the jubilee period and then did the bridge later,” he explained.

Cllr Stevens said that while the authority does intend to carry out the renovations, it could not be certain it would be done this year.

“We know it has to be done periodically,” he continued.

“We understand the problem that we are facing and we have the expertise to understand how it has to be done and the time scales.”

The decision on when the bridge will be repainted has been left in the hands of the district’s elected officials, who must decide whether it is a priority to complete the work by the Diamond Jubilee celebrations or not.

If they decide to move forward with work, they will need to act quickly as it will have to be done this summer.

Have your say on the subject by commenting on this story, joining the Mercury debate on its Facebook page or Twitter @MatMerc, emailing news@matlockmercury.co.uk or writing to Matlock Mercury, 4 Firs Parade, Matlock, DE4 3AS.