130111 Joseph Farrington, R.A.

Our text today is taken from the Book of Changes which refers often to crossing the great water as here –

64. Wei Chi / Before Completion

above LI  THE CLINGING, FLAME

below K’AN  THE ABYSMAL, WATER

   Six in the third place means:
        Before completion, attack brings misfortune.
        It furthers one to cross the great water.

Things being seldom as they seem, and seldom as they are named Bridge Club is pleased to bring you “Old Bridge Surgery” which is by the new bridge which joins East and West Looe. Old Bridge Surgery is certainly a place where surgery is one of many fine undertakings … err … undertaken.

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Hmmn, herewith some pics taken in East Looe and West Looe on a rainy dull morning during which my spirits were lifted by a motorcycle ride.

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As far as I can discover the Looe River is not currently known as The Great Water, we reserve that distinction for the Tamar, which I crossed as if for the first time in 1983 on a DT175 with a song in my heart and bells jangling in my ears, and that has made all the difference.

One doesn’t have to make physical journey to effect a spiritual one, but if you’re on a motorbike it does help. Certainly there’s a better view of the old new bridge from the west bank.

Henderson (Old Cornish Bridges and Streams,1928) keeps us up to the mark thus, “Looe Bridge across the united creeks was built in 1853 at a cost of £2,500, with 9 misshapen arches. This takes the place of a very fine mediaeval bridge which was built in the 15th century to link the flourishing Boroughs of East and West Looe and help travellers along the coast from Plymouth to Fowey. Old Looe Bridge spanned the river about 100 yards below its successor. From its size, age and situation it was not unworthy of comparison with the famous Long Bridge of Bideford, built a few years later in 1459.”

Henderson tells us the “old” bridge was built between 1411 and 1436 and was destroyed in 1853, he also mentions a sketch of the bridge (circa 1810) by Joseph Farrington, R.A. This sketch does not yield to Google  but Farrington’s Diary does

“August 31. — I should have noticed in my account of yesterday that on my way to the Cheese-wring 
I passed the Hurlers a line of stones which have the appearance of a regular arrangement. 
The superstitious tradition respecting them is that they were men turned into stones as a 
punishment for having played at the game of hurling on a Sunday. — 

After breakfast I took a Chaise to East Looe, 9 miles distant, and left Liskeard which is a 
Borough town & returns two members to Parliament.”
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