The LMS swingbridge at Rewley Road dates from the 1850s, this largely forgotten piece of Oxford's industrial history lies open and disused. Once carrying trains to the LMS station at Oxford the bridge used to be a notorious bottleneck for boaters wishing to join the Thames from the Oxford Canal or vice versa.
The bridge is a scheduled ancient monument and is one of only four of its type remaining in the UK, in 2004 a feasibility study by an ironwork restoration specialist was carried out. The aim is to consolidate and repair the bridge and conserve it for future generations to enjoy.
The old LMS station was controversially demolished in 1999 to make way for the University's new Business School, but thankfully the grade II* listed building (built using the same design and methods as the famous 1851 Crystal Palace) was dismantled and re-erected at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton Road (http://www.bucksrailcentre.org/public/rewleyRoad.htm).
The restored station is a marvellous sight and well worth a visit.
This cache was originally set for the Dreaming Spires Cash Bash 04. It was planned as a physical cache, but due to the unsuitability of areas nearby, it was decided that a virtual cache was more sensible. It is within easy walking distance of Oxford Station and the city centre and is close to several other caches.
To log the cache answer the following questions and mail them to the owner...
- Name the partners involved in conserving the bridge.
- How many rails remain intact on the bridge?
NOTE : The bridge is a listed structure and is fenced off. Please do not climb onto the bridge as it is easily damaged, I will not allow anyone to log the cache if they ignore this instruction.
NOTE : The area has been getting very overgrown in the spring and summer. The bridge can be seen from the coordinates for this cache, the information you need is visible all year around (although with some difficulty when the vegetation is high) and is at the cache coordinates.
Update 8th Nov 2011 : Good news! At last a grant has been awarded to renovate the bridge and the surrounding area - BBC News - Oxford Mail