Bridging the Beck
The Act of Parliament of 1777 gave permission and instructions on completely changing the landscape of Nettleham. From then on there were the fields that we see to-day. The document always refers to the Beck as “The Great Beck”. There were six other streams which became merely ditches or were treated as land drains.
Where were the bridges? To access Church Street from High Street there
was a ford as was the case in Vicarage Lane. At that time there were no
other road crossings. Pedestrians were not expected to paddle. Planks
were placed across the stream. In 1911 the Welton Rural District Council
were asked to widen the bridge at Warwicks by adding another plank. Miss
Mansford of Beck House in Vicarage Lane walked a plank to access her
chickens on Mill Hill field from her field behind Beck House. No doubt the
foot bridges we use today have a long history. They were painted from
time to time. The footbridge at the Water Mill eventually gained side
protection in 1977.
The first road bridge in the village came in 1897, the year of Queen
Victoria’s diamond jubilee – hence its name – Jubilee Bridge. No longer did
the dray man have to lead his horse through the water going from High
Street to Church Street. Motorised transport was not expected. It catered
for horse drawn vehicles so was not as wide as it is to-day. The bed of the
stream was lowered above and below the site of the bridge. 4 tons of local
stone was needed plus some granite.