Vandals deface heritage canal bridge with graffiti

GRAFFITI vandals who defaced a heritage canal bridge have caused consternation among householders and conservationists.

The Division bridge – number 85 – is National Heritage Grade II listed and was built between 1794 and 1797 on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal on the Saddleworth-Mossley border.

But one of the arches at Calf Lane has been sprayed with brightly coloured paints.

David Wheeler at the defaced bridge

One angry local, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s an absolute disgrace to wreck our heritage in this way.

“This is just mindless vandalism and spoils the look of the bridge itself.”

The bridge was built by Benjamin Outram, the iconic the consulting engineer for the construction of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, which included the pioneering Standedge Canal Tunnel.

Local community campaigner David Wheeler, pictured above, said: “It is disgraceful that individuals see fit to deface a treasured landmark which has stood the test of time, two world wars, and 10 monarchs.

“It is important this bridge is returned to its original state. Once one of these iconic landmarks is defaced, it is amazing how quickly others in area then are attacked.”

Jane Allman, who highlighted the incident on social media, added: “There is a place for graffiti or street art and it isn’t on historic structures such as 18th century Grade two listed bridge. Then it becomes vandalism.”

A Canal and River Trust spokesperson said: “The Huddersfield Canal is a wonderful place for people to escape too and go for walk, cycle or jog along as research shows that being by water makes you feel better. 

“It’s really disappointing that somebody has damaged the bridge. As a charity, this will cost us money that was allocated to keep our 200-year-old canal network working.

“It is frustrating that we will have to divert costs and time now to remove this graffiti.  

“We urge people to think before committing this senseless act as not only does it look unsightly but it damages our wonderful heritage.”

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