Bevere, near Worcester
The island is Situated near the locks, and accessed over an old possibly unsafe cast iron bridge from the east bank.
Recently Bevere Bridge has been in the news. An article by Becky Fisher, appeared in the Evening News (OCT 04) headed Mystery of falling bridge over Severn.
The bridge itself is in a bad state of repair Janet White contacted the Evening News, worried that Bevere Bridge, which links the shore to a small island a short way upstream from Bevere lock, is in a bad state of repair, but that no one was able to give her any advice on its maintenance. Janet said “I would like to know if this bridge is to be saved before it collapses” The Evening News contacted both British Waterways and the bridge manager at Worcestershire County Council and both confirmed they were not responsible for it and did not know who was.
However Max Sinclair a local historian immediately wrote the following letter to the Evening News entitled Bevere picture tells a story
It is probable Bevere Bridge was built for the secretive and wealthy Mr Moon who owned property and land in Bevere. He was chief engineer of the London and North Western Railway Company and lived the last years of his life in Bevere.
He was noted for making unexpected inspections of the railway, but the signalmen got wise to him.
When he was spotted travelling towards the east, they would telegraph ahead “Moonlight tonight”. This was the origin of the expression Moonlighting.
Bevere Bridge is a superb example of Victorian craftsmanship probably brought down the Severn on a “flote”, a raft with sides. The first American Locomotive travelled in a similar manner from Stourbridge down to Gloucester.
The County Council who must be entitled to a lottery grant for the work should make this lovely structure safe.
In 1051 King Hardicanute sent officials to Worcester to collect the Danegeld tax. They were assaulted and murdered. Not surprisingly troops arrived some months later to punish the rebels who, being warned, escaped to Bevere or Camp island. After sacking and burning the city the soldiers made for the camp. Four unsuccessful attacks were made ending in a truce.
After payment of a fine the citizens were allowed to return home. Centuries later the island was again a place of refuge for those fleeing the city to avoid the plague.
( Seen in walking groups newsletter.)
The bridge crosses to Bevere Island, was built in 1844, now in a dangerous state.
A Belgian family, coming down the Severn went on the wrong side of Bevere Island and over the weir.
Don Smith the lock keeper lowered himself down in a Severn Punt and rescued them.
Later a tug came up from Diglis and pulled the boat back up the weir. Max
1954 Bevere in the Spring.