Diggers, workmen in bright orange boiler suits and the sounds of heavy machinery faced us yesterday as we walked along the side of the River Eden in Carlisle.
We thought something must be going on when we were directed towards a narrow post and wired lined path snaking around the top of the Sheepmount playing fields.
Charlie and I, like many boys, love machinery and the thought of seeing some in action put a little spring into our paws.
Our excitement was realised a few minutes later as the biggest brightest yellow dump truck bounced by, across the pot holed terrain.
The driver was very courteous and slowed down so not to scare us. He even gave us a wave and a smile as he passed on his way.
Wow, just 10 minutes into our walk and we have a new path and a dump truck. What else can we discover?
We did not have to wait long before large piles of rubble, stones, old bricks and general dirt could be seen across the tracks left by the dump truck.
Whatever was going on ahead of us must be quite an undertaking and involve some very large digging rabbits or some man made machines.
Nellfield Bricks recovered
Closer inspection of one of the debris piles revealed the name Nellfield stamped into some of the bricks. It turns out that the Nellfield Brick and Tile Works were based in Braidwood, Lanarkshire between 1893 to around 1915.
So these bricks were miles from home and possibly around 100 years old.
Main west coast rail bridge maintenance
Soon all was revealed as we approached the main West Coast rail line bridge that spans the River Eden between the Sheepmount area of the City and Etterby.
Large bags of gravel, pontoon bridges and a complicated network of pipes and ducting had all been installed across the river to enable what appeared to be major works on one of the bridge piers.
Clean white rocks could be seen relining the opposite river bank whilst an intricate web of metal rebar and shuttering surround the furthest bridge support.
Workmen clad in bright orange boiler suits could be seen all over the work site. It appears that local contractor, Story Contracting is in charge of the project.
This is not the first time work has been carried out on this bridge in recent times. During 2011 a Rusty metal walkway was removed in a project taking around a month to complete.
Do you know what work is being carried out and how much it is costing. Maybe you know who originally constructed the bridge or more of the bridge history? Let us know in the comments area below.
Lets hope the river doesn’t rise too much before they get the work finished.
Until next time
Rufus and Charlie