Sunday, 18 January 2015

Flanagan & Allen and Friargate Bridge, Derby.

On occasions I have been required to sing on stage that song made popular by Flanagan and Allen, Underneath the Arches. I had always assumed that it referred to one of the many lines of railway arches sheltering multifarious enterprises that one can find in London but having just read my brother's blog, (click here to do likewise) I learn that Flanagan's inspiration for the song came from a railway bridge which has a place in my childhood -- Friargate railway bridge on Ashbourne Road, Derby. Not only that, but the bridge which is a magnificent structure of a grace and elegance so lacking in today's civil engineering is being allowed to deteriorate. And we all know what the powers that be will decide to do with such structures if their maintenance is likely to cost them money.

So I signed the petition to get the bridge repaired.  (click here to do likewise). Hardly had I done so than MyMateMargaret came home with another jig-saw puzzle for us to tear our hair out over. Yes, we know how to occupy our evenings.

And blow me down if it wasn't a painting of the bridge. I recognised the Derby Corporation trolleybus first of all. If you look to the right edge of the painting you can even see the Hippodrome poster advertising Flanagan & Allen's performance.

I wish that restoring the bridge would be as easy as completing the puzzle.


  1. The loco in your jigsaw is No 61914 and ther is a very poor photo of it at:

  2. Thank you for that Peter. According to my Observer's Book of Railway Locomotives that makes it a K-3 class loco, originally from the GNR. The only locomotive that I distinctly recall seeing on that bridge was a Jubilee Class loco which would have been native to the area as it had been built for the LMS.