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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Princess Royal to open new Cumbrian bridge today

Princess Anne will officially open Workington's new £11.2 million Northside Bridge today.

The ceremony will also see the unveiling of a memorial to Pc Bill Barker, who died when the original bridge collapsed in November 2009.

The Princess Royal will be guest of honour at the opening ceremony and will be presented with a posy by Pc Barker’s youngest daughter, 10-year-old Emma.

It will be a moving occasion for the family, as his widow Hazel hasn’t been back to the bridge during the day since his death.

She said: “It is going to be very tough, but we have to do it. Bill never ran away from anything and so I have to attend.

“I have been to the river when I organised One Night for Bill in 2010, but it was dark then. I haven’t been back in daylight hours.”

Hazel said it was a “huge significance” that Princess Anne was opening the bridge as Bill had presented her with a ceremonial sword when he was a young cadet at St Bees School.

The family, she explained “dreaded this time of year” and mark the anniversary of their husband and father’s death on November 20 by staying close to each other. “It may be three years, but it feels like three months,” Hazel said. She added her children, Simon, Melissa, Daniel and Emma, have been her strength and they would be supporting each other at the ceremony.

Samuel Kelly, six, and his three-year-old sister Gabrielle will also present a bouquet to Princess Anne at the opening.

The children were forced to move out of their home at Barepot after the floods.

The new bridge will be blessed by the Rev Ian Grainger, vicar of Northside, before the princess unveils a sandstone plaque and cuts a ribbon.

She will be the first to travel across the newly opened bridge, followed by cyclists and a bus carrying pupils from Northside school.

The road will be opened to general traffic around 2pm.

Princess Anne will later officially open Penrith’s new fire station at Kemplay Bank. It replaces the headquarters in Cockermouth and incorporates a new fire station for the town.

She is due to unveil a plaque to mark the occasion and commemorate her visit.

Have your say

Thought this would bring out the anti royals. Probably would be happier with an X Factor reject, typical cumbrians.

Posted by BorderLine on 24 October 2012 at 21:32

what did people expect, princess anne to walk over the bridge just to say hello get a grip, we have a new bridge at last that is more important!!!

Posted by albert on 24 October 2012 at 12:26

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