The historic heart of Stanley
With special thanks to Mr Stephen Peters for the use of his photos.
Charles Peters was a marine engineer and was on a collier ship in the First World War and his ship was diverted to the South Atlantic to re-coal the Pacific Fleet that was now in the Falkland Islands, on calling into Stanley he was offered a job as Chief Engineer with the FIC. He finished his tour with his ship, returned to the UK and married Meggie Osbon in 1916. They then both returned to the Falkland Islands on the RMS Oronsa in the middle of the first world war. They had two children, Doris Malvina (Vina) and Harry (known as Pete) who was born in the Islands.
The photos from the family album illustrate the sheer physical work that went into building the foundations and towers for the bridge by local men and the resourcefulness and ingenuity they used to erect the bridge.
The iron bridge was ordered by the Falkland Islands Company from David Rowell and Co in London and shipped out to the Islands on the SS Ballena. It was put up over a period of 9 months between October 1924 and July 1925 using local labour as the navvy gang. The foreman was the mason E S Crawford and the gang numbered 14 on average. The decision to build the bridge was the result of the proposal to centralise the Darwin and Walker Creek operations at Goose Green with new shearing shed being built at Goose Green to cope with the increased number of sheep that would have to be shorn. Following the construction of the bridge itself the remaining ancillary work on the approach to the roads was completed by the end of October 1925.
The bridge had a span of 400 feet and was 8 feet wide and was suspended by four two inch diameter steel cables.
The bridge was officially closed in 1997 due to the deteriorating condition of the iron and for safety reasons.
For further information and more incredible photos please click on the link or visit bodiecreekbridge.com
Falkland Islands Museum & National Trust