Bronze sculpture overlooks Union Chain Bridge

A BRONZE sculpture of designer Captain Samuel Brown now overlooks the Union Chain Bridge.

The sculpture was placed on the Northumbrian side of the bridge, which links Scotland with England, to “oversee” the final stages of the current restoration work.

Brown was a Royal Navy officer who made cables for ships using iron chains.

His design was chosen for the Union Chain Bridge over the River Tweed, which opened on 26 July 1820 after taking less than a year to build.

The bridge cost £7,700 – only one third of the cost of a stone bridge and four times longer than would have been possible as a single span made from stone.

Councillor John Greenwell, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for roads development and maintenance, said: “Recognising Captain Brown and his incredible work at the conclusion of this project is very fitting.

“Thanks to the refurbishment work this sculpture will hopefully overlook the bridge and all those it will carry for centuries to come.”

The bridge is due to reopen once work on its handrails and paint is completed.

Robbie Hunter, from the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge group, said: “The erection of the statue of Captain Brown marks the near completion of the restoration of the Union Chain Bridge.

“It is highly appropriate to remember this pioneering engineer in such a way.”

John Riddle, Northumberland County Council’s cabinet member for local services, added: “The sculpture of Captain Brown looks fantastic and it seems quite apt he is watching over the final stages of this fantastic bridge he designed [more than] 200 years ago.

“I’m sure he would have been fascinated by some of the techniques and equipment being used today as we near completion of this very technical but hugely rewarding project.”

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