Plans to change Throop Mill bridge moniker put forward

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Cllr Ron Whittaker on the wier bridge at Throop Mill

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Cllr Ron Whittaker on the wier bridge at Throop Mill

First published in News by

THERE are calls for a new weir bridge to be named after a councillor who has spent years fighting for it.

But Muscliff and Throop ward councillor Ron Whittaker, who campaigned for a new footbridge with local residents, said he would much rather the structure continues to be known as the weir bridge.

Cllr Whittaker, who says he is not likely to stand for re-election after more than 40 years on the council, said: “It’s a nice gesture, but it’s not for me.

“It is easily identified as the weir bridge, so I think it should stay as that.

“When people go for a walk they say: ‘We’ll go over the weir bridge’, and if we change that to the Whittaker bridge, no one will have a clue what it refers to.”

The main weir bridge near historic Throop Mill has provided the only pedestrian access across the river from Muscliff and Throop for more than half a century.

As it began to rot and wear down, Dorset County Council erected a temporary structure while the bridge was being demolished and replaced by a new crossing, which will cost more than £400,000.

Cllr Whittaker said he has spoken to other councillors and residents who say the bridge should take his name.

Former councillor Philip Whitelegg has led the calls, saying in a letter to the Daily Echo: “It would surely be an appropriate mark of recognition to the continuous efforts waged by Cllr Whittaker to name the new bridge ‘Whittaker Bridge’.

“It’s a lovely thought, and I’m very grateful, but I don’t think it’s quite right for me. I’ve achieved what I set out to do and that’s enough.”

However, the councillor said he would be happy to have a room named after him in Throop Mill itself if the council were able to buy the building from Northampton-based Heygates.

The owners of the mill, which stopped working in 1972, have told Cllr Whittaker they will sell it for £500,000 in order for it to be turned into a visitor attraction and museum.

“Before I step down, I would dearly love to see that dream come to life,” Cllr Whittaker said.

“But Heygates will not get £500,000 for Throop Mill.”

Comments (2)

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3:49pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Ralph Horris says...

Weir is misspelt in the caption, which shows Mr Whittaker on the small weir near to the mill when the weir bridge in question is the one over the main river Stour, some 500 yards away.
Councillor Whittaker has served the area well over the years and naming the weir bridge after him would be a good idea although it is in Christchurch and Mr Whittaker is a Bournemouth councillor.
Even the small weir in the picture is within Christchurch although Throop Mill is just on the boundary and so a room named after him if it were ever turned into a visitors centre would be appropriate, although i for one hope this never happens.
Weir is misspelt in the caption, which shows Mr Whittaker on the small weir near to the mill when the weir bridge in question is the one over the main river Stour, some 500 yards away. Councillor Whittaker has served the area well over the years and naming the weir bridge after him would be a good idea although it is in Christchurch and Mr Whittaker is a Bournemouth councillor. Even the small weir in the picture is within Christchurch although Throop Mill is just on the boundary and so a room named after him if it were ever turned into a visitors centre would be appropriate, although i for one hope this never happens. Ralph Horris
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Sat 17 Nov 12

GAHmusic says...

I will miss Ron when he goes, one of the few decent, honest and hard working members of the council left who always genuinely cared for the neighbourhood and its people.
I will miss Ron when he goes, one of the few decent, honest and hard working members of the council left who always genuinely cared for the neighbourhood and its people. GAHmusic
  • Score: 0

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