The Building of the Bridge 1920's/30's

British Pathe film

Canvey Crossing
This is a British Pathe © film.

British Pathe © film

This is the description which comes with the film. Obviously a lot clearer to those who live here.

A bridge is constructed – (title says ‘Benfleet (Ben Fleet?)’, not sure what this refers to).

Opens with scene of various vehicles fording a flooded area or shallow river; while on left a bridge is being constructed. MS as horse-drawn cart and small bus cross; meanwhile in foreground a man is spreading the earth around; so as not to have deep ruts where they drive out of water? Cut to an old truck that died while still standing in water – the driver is at the front cranking away for quite a while.

Several trucks drive across – 1 with a large pipe held by men riding at the back. Small truck now started; drives out. Pedestrians carefully walk across stepping on narrow strip sticking up. Pan left over frame of new bridge under construction. MS Rolls Royce crossing. Man crossing carrying bicycle; another wheels his across.

Ceremony for dedication of new bridge: crowd on bridge – Girl Guides lined up; priests stand at right. Priests shake hands with VIP who has arrived. VIP meets other men. CU worker with machinery – VIP flips switch. Clergyman says prayer; then they; followed by VIP with wife etc. walk down ramp. 2 little girls give bouquets to ladies. MS crowd around a tower / scaffolding / pan up – various shots as block on top keeps dropping onto pole (like pistons) hammering it down. CU pole sinking deeper in ground. MS vehicles fording river.

Comments about this page

  • Can anyone name the people in this film including the two photographers seen standing there? Who are the Councilors?

    By Dave Bullock (05/04/2010)
  • According to Geoff Barsby’s book the official ceremony in this film was in May 1930 when Brigadier Colvin drove the first pile for the new bridge. So therefore I am assuming the man who pulled the leaver was Brigadier Colvin the man whom the bridge was named after.

    By Janet Penn (05/04/2010)
  • I always understood the bridge was “second hand” moved from somewhere in Docklands but happy to be corrected

    By Chris Stevens (22/02/2024)
  • Yes it was Chris

    By Janet Penn (22/02/2024)

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