Hector's Bridge

The day to day working of the Caledonian Railway Company, including its constituents and successors.
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WCML55.68
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 4:37 pm

Hector's Bridge

Post by WCML55.68 »

Good evening all,

During my research into Harthope Viaduct, I have found reference to Hectors Bridge several times, but absolutely nothing as to Hector was.

It is noted on NLS maps, 1955, as being the next bridge (over railway) north of the Viaduct itself, contrary to the excellent shot on Flickr which suggests that the viaduct itself was Hectors Bridge.

https://maps.nls.uk/view/91578107 (at 9 oclock)

Does anyone know who Hector actually was? And what was his relationship to the railway? And when?

Perhaps a lineman or platelayer in charge of the section or perhaps fell to his death from the bridge????

Any ideas??

Paul.
jimwatt2mm
Posts: 675
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: Hector's Bridge

Post by jimwatt2mm »

From this map of 1859 https://maps.nls.uk/view/74427738 (midway down the rhs) it would appear that the road crossing that bridge was originally the main road south. From the positioning of the name on the map you show and also on this 1909 revision https://maps.nls.uk/view/75651802 (bottom rh corner) I would say that the name refers to the road bridge over the Evan water, with the benchmark on it, rather than to the rail overbridge. This webpage https://www.bench-marks.org.uk/bm16720 confirms that. The bridge probably pre-dates the railway by some time and I would guess that the name refers to the person who built it.

Jim W
WCML55.68
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 4:37 pm

Re: Hector's Bridge

Post by WCML55.68 »

Morning Jim,

Thanks for the reply.

You are right as regards the positioning of the name on the maps.
And thank you for the reference to Benchmarks and Flush Brackets. Completely new to me, very interesting and will be studied further.

The last comment on this Flickr photo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/holycorne ... ist-dxrwNR
confirms a red sandstone bridge between Harthope and Summit although it doesny say whether over rail or water. One assumes A74 road over water as the original rail overbridge was bypassed by this time. The road from Harthope going north, and the Evan Water, ducked under the CR again via a massive stonework affair. The road returned again further north via an overbridge which Ive always thought was Hectors Bridge. Maybe Ive been mislead into thinking it was a railway bridge by the erroneous Flickr shot. The road was later improved to continue parallel to the railway and no longer crossed at either location. Another visit is planned to walk the road and see what structures and roadways remain. Very little I suspect and Im sure the massive affair is buried/gone/replaced by water duct, possibly similar to that installed at the Viaduct in the 1960s. Its interesting to note that Hectors Bridge does not appear on the 1859 map, But on the later maps where it does, there is a benchmark clearly attached to the Evan Water bridge. So presumably this will be gospel. I had wondered if the name was misplaced and I have found discrepancies in the OS maps, especially in relation to the shapes of the three cottages. Even the official BR plans have their errors.

Is this Hectors Bridge or a later replacement? Later I think.
https://www.google.com/maps/@55.4031202 ... 312!8i6656

So its looking like Hector was not related to the railway at all.
And we still havent found out who the heck was Hector! And what he did.

Might have a try at Moffat Library and Museum next time we are up there.
And I will contact Brian Flanagan through Flickr and see if he can remember where he got the name and association from.

One thing has struck me looking at the maps. The layout of the A74 through Harthope Viaduct and the access roads on both sides is very similar to the layout of Evan Water and its tributaries around Hectors Bridge. I wonder if someone has looked at the wrong map location and confused water for rail, hence the Harthopoe Viaduct/ Hector link.

Regards Paul.
jimwatt2mm
Posts: 675
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: Hector's Bridge

Post by jimwatt2mm »

WCML55.68 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:51 am
Is this Hectors Bridge or a later replacement? Later I think.
https://www.google.com/maps/@55.4031202 ... 312!8i6656
Hi Paul,

From the maps, and from the distances quoted on the benchmark I referenced, I interpret it as being further north, here :-https://www.google.com/maps/@55.4091303 ... 312!8i6656.

Again this is obviously a replacement bridge put in when the A74 was made dual carriageway (in the late 1960's?), as will all the road over bridges on the now B7076 be.

From the 'Logged visits' on the benchmark site there is no longer any sign of the benchmark as it is reported as being 'destroyed, possibly lost under the raised pavement level'.

As a footnote, we always take the B7076 when driving south as it's a less stressful drive than the motorway - and usually pretty much deserted!

Jim W
WCML55.68
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 4:37 pm

Re: Hector's Bridge

Post by WCML55.68 »

Hi Jim,

Absolutely bob-on. I should have realised my link was the wrong bridge, looking at the layout of the water.

Between the A74 dualling and the new M74, it would look as if most of the infrastructure around the line will be gone.

Next time you are there, go down the truncated part of the A74 and look for the upgrading stone. Its quite large and about ¾-way along on the right. Theres a shot here.

https://www.crassoc.org.uk/forum/viewto ... f=6&t=1291

Just need to establish who Hector was and what was his input, and how he has been linked to the line.

Many thanks for the help.

Regards Paul.
jimwatt2mm
Posts: 675
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: Hector's Bridge

Post by jimwatt2mm »

WCML55.68 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:21 pm
Just need to establish who Hector was and what was his input, and how he has been linked to the line.
As I suggested earlier, Paul, my suspicion is that the name predates the railway by some time and that Hector had nothing to do with the line.

He may have been the one who had the bridge built originally to carry the road (or track ) over the Elvan, or some incident befell him at the bridge, or the location, which caused it to be named after him. If I were a betting man, my money would be on the latter.

Jim W
WCML55.68
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 4:37 pm

Re: Hector's Bridge

Post by WCML55.68 »

Will do some digging into this and see what we can come up with. Watch this space ! 🤪
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