New bridge is tribute to late Braunston canal man Peter

Peter Andrews with his dog Molly.
Peter Andrews with his dog Molly.

A Braunston man who was passionate about canals left £100,000 in his will for a new bridge.

Peter Andrews, of Brindley Quays, wanted to do something to improve what was known as the Ladder Bridge.

Friend Tim Coghlan, of Braunston Marina, said: “Various proposals have been made in the past to replace the Ladder Bridge, but they had they had always failed for lack of the considerable funding it required.

“But all of this is to change, thanks to a generous legacy of £100,000 from the late Peter Andrews (1934 – 2018), a former London school teacher, who took early retirement in 1994 to indulge his passion for the canals.

“Probably no one knew the problems posed by the Ladder Bridge better than Peter, as most days he walked the Braunston towpath between the Brauston Tunnel and the double iron bridges at Braunson Turn. In so doing he acted as a volunteer litter-picker. Peter’s last dog, a rescue called Molly, was so nervous of the Ladder Bridge, that Peter had to carry her over it!”

In September 2017, Peter was diagnosed with cancer and died this year.

Tim added: “It could be called,‘Peter’s Bridge’ – to go with the Butcher’s Bridge nearby, or ‘Peter’s Two’ the old name for the first two locks on the Marsworth Flight further down the Grand Union Canal.”

Before Peter died he said he would feel honoured if the bridge were named after him.

Tim said: “In my final email to Peter, I wrote, ‘now I know that ‘Peter’s Bridge’ will go ahead, it will be a fitting monument to your friendship to so many, your generosity and courage, and your great love of our waterways’.

In about 1948, the canal towpath at Braunston was effectively cut in half by the construction of the ten foot high Ladder Bridge.