Summer writing inspirations – a footbridge with a curious history

One of the creeks draining my home town of Napier, New Zealand, is crossed by this brightly coloured footbridge.

Japanese-style footbridge in Alexander Park, Napier.
Japanese-style footbridge in Alexander Park, Napier.

The bridge has been there as long as I can remember. Apparently when it was set up in the early 1960s there was an outcry because it was in Japanese style – and many of Napier’s movers-and-shakers of the day had fought in the Pacific war, less than 20 years earlier. But it was set up anyway, which to me is an inspiring thought, because it spoke so much of inclusiveness. And it’s a nice bridge to look at.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015

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2 thoughts on “Summer writing inspirations – a footbridge with a curious history

    1. So am I. It’s been around as long as I can remember. The creek it spans, incidentally, is ruler-straight from the bridge for about 1.5 km onwards (behind me, as I took this photo) – and for deliberate reason. it’s the bed into which a major river was diverted by an 1899-era private-enterprise engineering project that created a fairly large area of suburban land via river-deposited silt. One of the larger works in New Zealand at the time and also one of the more ingenious because of the way it exploited nature to do most of the donkey work. Later still – 1938 – the river was diverted into the sea, further south, reducing its ‘engineered’ bed to the creek seen in this photo.

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