Ryeford Swing Bridge

Interviews

Two young women walk with a pushchair and red setter dog on the towpath with Ryeford Swing Bridge  in the background

Walking along the towpath at Ryeford Swing Bridge.

The Place

Busy with boats, people and cargo

It's hard to imagine this quiet little place as a very busy, industrial wharf. Now hidden behind a high wall, there was a private wharf here, belonging to one of the biggest traders on the canal – Ford Bothers of Ryeford Mill. Messrs Ford Brothers brought corn to the mill in their own fleet of trows and barges – and flour was shipped back out.

The little swing bridge gives access to the canalside cottages associated with Ford Brothers. It was once a wooden bridge, but was changed to a more substantial metal bridge in an early canal restoration project.

Go and look around the edge of the wall on the towpath side of the canal, to see the sluices, which could be used to regulate the flow of water between the canal and river.

The People

Bill Eville

Bill Eville

Martin Hyde

Martin Hyde

Bill Eville remembers a plaque to commemorate his father and Martin Hyde talks about how he helped the Company of Proprietors in the 1980s and 90s.Bill Eville remembers a plaque to commemorate his father and Martin Hyde talks about how he helped the Company of Proprietors in the 1980s and 90s.