Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Take it to the bridge

The Bridge (sometime Bridge Hotel) sits handily next to the bridge over the Cam at Clayhithe. So you’d think their sign might have a picture of said bridge, wouldn’t you? Except . . . Well, it cannot be denied that the present bridge, built in 1939, is not terribly beautiful, so you could understand why that idea might not appeal very much:
Clayhithe bridge, from the south
Instead they’ve gone for this:
It is, as anyone familar with Cambridge will know, the covered bridge over the Cam in St John’s College, known as the ‘Bridge of Sighs’, connecting Third Court and New Court.
It’s the right river, it’s rather more attractive, and it’s only a few miles upstream. But aside from that, does it have anything to do with Clayhithe? Well, surprisingly, yes, it does.
You see, Clayhithe lies within the parish of Horningsea, whose living has been in the patronage of St John’s (then the Hospital of St John) since early in the 14th century. So it might not be quite such a random choice as first appears.
Incidentally, the previous sign looked like this:
Altogether a more characterful effort and, while it doesn’t look like the actual bridge either, it does have a narrowboat, of which there are many phutt-phutting along the river at this point.

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