August 30, 2015

1431, 1858 UNITED KINGDOM (Bermuda) - Somerset Bridge

1431 Somerset Bridge

Posted on31.01.2015, 30.08.2015
Somerset Island is one of the main islands of the chain that makes up Bermuda, and lies in the far west of the territory. The village of Somerset lies in the northern part of the island, which is connected to Boaz Island in the northeast and the Bermudian mainland in the south by bridges. One of these bridges is Somerset Bridge, the smallest working drawbridge in the world. On a series of Bermuda pound banknotes issued from 2009, the bridge is featured on the reverse of the pink five pound note.

1858 Aerial view of Somerset Bridge

The original bridge was built in 1620, and much of its structure remained, although the bridge was largely rebuilt in the mid 20th century. The original bridge was cranked open by hand, whereas the current bridge consists of two cantilevered half-spans, separated by an 46cm gap bridged by a thick timber panel. The entire width of the drawbridge measures 81cm. The panel is removed whenever a yacht wishes to pass beneath the bridge, allowing the unstayed mast to pass through the gap. A captain must wait for a passer-by to assist in opening the drawbridge.

About the stamps
On the postcard 1431
The first stamp, depicting William Perot (0.25 BMD), is part of the series The 200th Anniversary of Bermuda Postal Service, about which I wrote here. The last stamp is part of the series Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009, about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 1858
The first stamp belong to the series Bermudan Shells, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of the series Art Masterworks - Museum of Bermuda - 25th Anniversary, about which I wrote here.

Somerset Bridge - Wikipedia

Sender 1431, 1858: Denise 
1431: Sent from Southampton (Bermuda), on 25.04.2014
1858: Sent from Southampton (Bermuda), on 29.04.2014
Photo: Roland Skinner

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