Film ID: YFA 5095 Video of YFA_5095 Building of St Mary's Bridge BUILDING OF ST. MARY’S BRIDGE 1959 Visitor TabsDescription This is a film from the Douthwaite Collection showing the building of St Mary’s Bridge in Doncaster. The film begins with traffic passing over a bridge, showing the surrounding buildings. On the other side there is a railway bridge with a goods train passing over it. There is a sign for road works and one for bridge reconstruction, with the expected date of completion stated as October 1959. Work on building the new bridge is shown, laying the foundations. It is shown again at a much further stage of development, and a street is shown flooded. People stand on the bridge looking out at the high raging river and the flooded area. The construction area is then shown again after the flooding. There are drawings of the bridge in construction and as it will be when finished. Snow and ice float along on the river as cranes continue working on a foggy day. Finally the completed bridge has traffic passing over it and there is a new roundabout in front of the railway bridge, with an advertisement for Lucas batteries. There is a plaque for the Bridge, stating that it was opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 27th November, 1959. Context The celluloid damage and deterioration in this film lends itself well to the historic significance of the reconstruction of St Mary’s Bridge in Doncaster. Workmen use hand tools and heavy machinery to construct a modern 1950s bridge as locals look on with interest. The camera frequently pans around space ceaselessly exploring the metal interconnections of the bridge’s modern metal girders. Early primitive bridges are known to have been built in the Doncaster area during the 13th Century. One particular bridge that crossed the River Don was located next to a chapel dedicated to St. Mary. Pious travellers were encouraged to make a donation at the chapel towards the maintenance of the bridge. It is thought that the bridge, which has been repeatedly rebuilt in this area, became known as St Mary’s Bridge due to the presence of the nearby chapel.