South East Wales

Note from 1899 found in Cardiff bridge pillar

The note Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption The note had not been protected but was still in good condition

A handwritten note from 1899 has been found inside the pillar of a Victorian bridge in Cardiff by workers preparing to demolish it.

Splott Road Bridge is being rebuilt, allowing it to be raised and strengthened for the electrification of the railway line.

The note, dated June 1st 1899, was found as Network Rail contractors worked on the upgrade.

It appears to say: "This bridge was constructed by Makay and Daniel 1899."

It also references several past Cardiff suppliers: Girder work was said to be supplied by Finch and Co, of Chepstow; while cast-iron work was provided by Globe Foundry, of Cardiff.

Steve Keighley, programme manager for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said the note connected its employees to the history of the bridge.

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Workers found the note while working on Splott Road Bridge

"It's incredible that the note has survived," he said. "It wasn't covered or protected by anything, but the writing is still visible even after all these years."

The bridge, which connects Adamsdown to Splott, was opened on 3 August, 1899, two months after the note was dated.

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Splott Bridge is being rebuilt to allow the electrification of the railway line between Bristol Parkway and Cardiff Central

During the first phase of upgrade work in 2017, pupils from Moorland Primary School buried their own time capsule, with items including a fidget spinner, a stamp, Lego and a CD, along with pictures and letters from the children.

"It's fantastic to think that, over 100 years from now, a new generation of engineers will be uncovering their history, looking back to 2018," Mr Keighley added.

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