Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cornwall | The Bridge On Wool

Our annual visits to Cornwall are centred around one town. Wadebridge. Wadbridge is the sort of town that makes my hometown of Hereford look like a sprawling metropolis. I have to be honest I could never live in Wadebridge, I’d get bored far too easily. Also, one problem I have with the town is that it’s an expensive place. Unlike most towns Wadebridge has yet to fall victim to High Street Cloning. Apart from it’s large Co-op & Lidl all of the shops are independent. Also there’s only one of each. One electronics shop, one bookshop (if you don’t cant the second hand bookshops) etc. While it means that as a whole the town has a lot of charm it also means there is no competition and thus the retailers don’t need to worry about attracting customers with discounts. Books are expensive, as are DVDs, clothes and electronics. Perhaps there’s something to be said for towns succumbing to the likes of Woolworths, WH Smith, Game and Starbucks.

Spending a week in Wadebridge is nice. The cinema is fantastic – making Hereford’s look pathetic. The sound quality is far superior there are actually two screens (despite a local population being a quarter of the size) and the seats are extremely comfy.

Wadebridge is also famous for its two bridges.

A footbridge called ‘Challenge Bridge’ links the Egloshayle playing fields to the Jubilee fields on the other side of the river. The bridge was constructed by Anneka Rice on "Challenge Anneka". The scary thing is upon cycling past this bridge I could clearly remember the show. Instant childhood memories and a day spent whistling the Challenge Anneka theme.

On a more serious note is the original bridge – “The Bridge On Wool

No one is actually sure if this means that the bridge is actually physically built on sacks of wool as a foundation. What is much more likely is that the bridge was built on the profits of the wool trade. However when the bridge was extended in 1963 some wool was found in one of the core samples taken. The bridge was to become a strategic position in the English Civil War as in 1646 Oliver Cromwell himself came with 500 Dragoons and 1000 horsemen to take the bridge.

I’d recommend a day or two in the town, just wear something florecent as we noticed that the locals do seem to have a bizzare habit of walking into you, or just generally ignoring you.

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