Gerald Ainger…Bridge Painter
Saturday 9th February 2013.
Hey guys let me take you back to the days of the 60’s 70’s, my home village and I will take you for a little wander through.
We shall start here with this old picture, a little before my time, not much I might add, of my village bridge and watersplash. The bridge with the old wooden railings and tredboards that was as of my time living here. The only difference now is the foliage has been trimmed back and the road is now tarmac and the watersplash it self has been dredged and concreted over, so the little water flows underneath, unless we have too much rain and then it becomes it’s name a watersplash.
It is late one night and my Dennis and I are walking the pavement and heading towards the village bridge, we are about 16 years of age, and we were just talking like teenagers do, and we came upon the bridge and stood upon it’s tread boards and notice how unstable the railings were, and the tread boards were rotting in places. The night was warm and the sky clear and the moon gave us good light.
Dennis removed the lid from his tin and handed me the screwdriver and I did mine, he had the red and I had the white. He took out two large brushes from his holdall and handed me one. We both looked about, all was clear, he went to the village side and I the other. We then both quickly and with no thought of the standard starting slapping paint all over the bridge. All over the railings and the walk boards. But we were clever enough to leave the walk boards to last and start one side together and move along to the other. Wouldn’t we have looked a right pair of prunes trapping ourselves. On finishing we quickly walked away, Dennis took the near empty paint cans and brushes put them back into his shed. We then parted and arranged to meet in the morning.
The next morning we met up and walked into the village, not expecting what we found.Walked through the village, following the chat and people and when we could view the bridge we saw the what the interest was, us, what we had done,, naughty boys. They had coned off the area and council workers were trying to actually scrape the paint,, what a group of idiots we all know emulsion soaks into the wood, especially rather rotten wood, and therefor a fruitless exercise.
Me and Dennis stood for awhile watching, both whispering silly things, and actually laughing,,, when this voice beside us said “well now boys I don’t suppose you know anything about this do you?” we looked around to see our local policeman, PC Letts and trusty bicycle. I looked at him and “no sorry, but it is funny isn’t it” he just gave us a policeman look and wandered to the bridge and started talking to some of the workers.
Me and Dennis looked over our shoulders regularly but no one came tapping it. and in three months we got a new upgraded safer bridge, Job Done. We got away with it.. naughty boys..
My next story ‘The timber yard and Haunting’..