River Men

This bridge was originally built to replace a flying fox that transported workers and materials between flax mills on opposite sides of the river. By the mid 1920’s the flax was gone, but there was sufficient vehicular and stock traffic to motivate the landowner to build a toll house on the town side of the river and open the bridge for public use. The government Minister of Works Bob Semple was so enraged at being made to pay a toll for a crossing in 1938 that he immediately despatched surveyors to begin preparations to build a replacement to what he called “this antique structure from a comic opera”. Nothing came of the newly laid surveying pegs for another thirty years. [Source]


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