James Taylor, Castlemaine
In support of Tamasine Dale’s letter, Beautiful Bridge – Opinions, March 6, 2020 – I wish to point out the historical value of this bridge.
In 1870 the Borough Council received a request from the inhabitants of Froomes’ Road asking for a bridge over the creek at the road leading from Dawes’ Railway Hotel (pictured) to the cricket ground.
It was not until 1874 that work was actually begun and, consequently finished, on what was known as Dawe’s Bridge. It was built by convict labour.
Council revealed the cost of erecting the bridge to have been £540 7s. Mr Cornish was much complimented on the excellence of his work, and a vote of thanks was given to him. I believe this to be for supplying the plans and overseeing the construction.
The Dawes would have the hotel for a long time and the local people usually referred the hotel as Dawe’s, so it seemed natural to call the bridge “Dawe’s Bridge”. Even the council referred to it as such.
I think the bridge should remain basically as is, with whatever steps need to be taken to strengthen it for today’s traffic but not to make it in the image of the Elizabeth Street bridge.