Climbing On The Bowstring Bridge

undefinedFor some reason I’m a decent climber. Okay, half decent, but as the least athletic person I know and at twenty-seven I shouldn’t be any good at it. As it turns out, I’m okay. I’m pretty sure at twenty-seven I shouldn’t be climbing but still, there’s lots of things I should be doing at this age and aren’t, if you listen to society.

Anyway, The Bowstring Bridge is a bridge near me that is probably going to be pulled down at the end of the month despite the protests that have gone on. The council want a sports centre/swimming pool instead and the DMU said they’d build one and let the public use it. One old bridge, that has been closed off for years, doesn’t have much to offer really. I like it though, and it has more to offer than people think, than the council think at least. As an art gallery if nothing else, it’s a nice bridge if it could be actually used again, a nice look over the river and a cut into the park eventually.

The graffiti that’s up there is brilliant, I’ll post some pictures as time goes on, and that’s the reason I went up. While graffiti gets sprayed/painted over and over as time goes on, I didn’t like the idea of what is up there just getting demolished into a pile of colourful bricks. So I went up, climbed over the wall and took photos.

Which is where I started. Climbing. I sat on the wall for a while looking down ’cause it was a bit high up to jump, and I wasn’t entirely sure that I’d be able to get back over, so I took photos from my vantage point but it wasn’t satisfying at all. I could see a lot but photograph little. So I jumped down, and took the risk. I remember on telly, and in films, people saying ‘drop and roll‘. I did no such thing. I dropped and lay on the floor in confusion. Did this twice as my brain went over two things; “Where was the roll?” and “Is anything broken?” I could only really answer the latter question. I broke nothing. Oh, sorry, I broke my belt, it was on it’s way out and jumping off a high wall was too much for it strangely.

I had a few ideas for getting back over, one including calling my friend and seeing if her boyfriend had a bolt cutter (I suspected he did and I was right), another was to give up and call the police or the fire brigade or whoever it is you call when you’re stuck somewhere and don’t know anyone with a set of ladders or a bolt cutter. I tried to get up onto the wall again and failed and have some bruises and a scrape to remind me of how shit that attempt was, and I panicked thinking I was screwed but after a few minutes or looking forlornly though the metal fencing (the type with the spiky bits on top) I tried again and got over and eventually onto the right side of the fence, relatively uninjured.

Until I tripped.

I missed the smallest of steps, landing on my arse, hurt my ankle and lay on my back laughing for five minutes with hysteria because my adrenaline was high (I was shaking a lot) and I was typically clumsy.

I said, I’d never do anything like that again, while waiting for the bus home, but on reflection, I would, in a heartbeat, but maybe with more preparation next time. Like a ladder (rope, step, whatever) or bolt cutters (just in case) and a spare belt.

I hope they don’t tear the bridge down, and instead have it restored.

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