Rare view of Foulridge bridge

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Our look back in time picture this week is a rare nostalgic view of the Foulridge Wharf railway bridge complete with a mighty steam locomotive heading through from Yorkshire to Lancashire as it flys full steam ahead over the now sadly lost bridge.

The once proud canal bridge had, over many decades, took the weight and felt the heat of many thousands of powerful steam engines as they went speeding over the rails both night and day as they headed for their destination.

Here you could watch some of the most iconic steam locomotives ever built as they flashed by in a wonderful cloud of steam, smoke and soot with the echo of the vast iron wheels remaining in the air a full minute on after the greased lightning leviathan had passed.

When the fools in high places destroyed the Colne to Skipton line in 1970, the bridge was, with great haste, also doomed to extinction and today, all that remains are five sawn-off wooden pillars and two enormous riveted metal plates, still with British Rail paint intact.

The very last steam engine to make a final historic journey over the landmark Foulridge Bridge, was the magnificent A3 96 ton, Pacific No. 4472 “Flying Scotsman”, a red-letter day indeed for all who saw her in the year 1968.

Note, inset top right of our picture is a Skipton-to-Colne day return ticket for that very final year of steam in 1968. Never again will a steam locomotive speed over the canal at Foulridge. However, one day in the future, when money is more accessible (the bridge alone would cost a King’s ransom), we may, once more, travel the splendid countryside route (by rail from Colne to Skipton).