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Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, Volume 2, Issue 2, 1988


page 24

The Waimea river, as rivers go, is not a bad one. Over the greater part of most years, it is a very attractive and tranquil stream, glistening in the bright sunshine of the Nelson summer months, attracting to its bosom, trout fishermen, picnic parties, swimmers and canoeists in quite large numbers.

In the early spring months and during the gloom of winter, with heavy rain, however, it becomes very awesome indeed, and terribly dangerous to all who may be tempted to transgress its turbulently boiling waters.

Agitation for a bridge at Appleby came to a head in 1865. The settlers on the western side of the river, feeling that it was time to do something, started to hold meetings among themselves and with the Provincial Council.

On the third of June 1865 a meeting, called by Henry Redwood Jnr, was held in the Village School, Waimea West.

F. Blundell, Esq., chaired the meeting and Henry Redwood Snr, the Hon Major Morse, John Kerr, H. Ford and others spoke at some length on the need for a bridge. The outcome was a resolution to the effect that a bridge be erected over the Waimea river, at a point not lower than Mr Redwood's gate. John Kerr moved the motion to erect the bridge, seconded by Mr H. Ford.

Shortly after this meeting, the Provincial Council called for tenders to carry out the construction. The successful tender was that of Messrs Lloyd & Bray of Nelson.

The construction began immediately and, by September 1868, was completed to the satisfaction of the Provincial Engineer.

On the twentieth of September, the "Examiner" advised that the bridge was to be opened on Thursday the twenty-fourth of September 1868, and that all members of the public were invited to attend.

The article in the Examiner reads thus:—