Sandways Bridge: Then and Now
I was off to take Scout for a walk in the woods. As I crossed Sandways Bridge I realised that there were men in the river working on the brickwork. Needless to say I parked the car and investigated, camera at the ready. The gentleman nearest the camera in the last photo informed me that, amongst other things, they had cleaned off the roundels and who were they? Further enquiry on my part led to him taking the centre photos for me. My wellies were not long enough to get me in to do it myself and they had waders on (though the other gentlemen plainly had a hole in his when he finally emerged from the river. Very damp he was!). Anyway as well as finding out that the roundels on the downstream side were not blank as I had thought from what I could see from the riverbank, there was a surprising discovery on the remaining upstream one.
I photographed it some years ago and have completely failed in all attempts to discover who he might be. Look at the second central photo. Click on the small photos for a much larger version then click close, bottom right, to return to this page. That's a well carved B, could this be Mr Browne himself? "If so", said Lorenzo (nearest the camera) "perhaps the missing roundel might have been a likeness of Mrs Browne." The other surprise re the 'Mr Browne' effigy is that it is hollow, proved by a hole in it, which might be why the other has gone through water getting behind it. Or maybe somebody tried to steal it. I think the downstream two are really delightful, a male and a female face but look at the delicate tracery round them.