Poohsticks Bridge is saved!September 23, 1999
East Sussex County Council is to temporarily close the public bridleway to Pooh Bridge, in Hartfield, to enable a replacement structure to be built. Work is planned to be carried out from mid-October and is expected to take about four weeks.
The bridge was built in 1907 and was subsequently immortalised by AA Milne in his "Winnie the Pooh" stories. The County Council's Rights of Way Manager, Nigel Kitchener, says: "The bridge was partially rebuilt in 1979, but in the years since there has been a considerable increase in the numbers of visitors to Pooh Bridge, many from all over the world. A combination of the increased use of the bridge and the natural elements has led to a deterioration in its condition which is now beyond economic repair.
The cost to design and construct a replacement bridge in the current style is estimated to be in the region of £30,000. However, the considerable media interest world-wide in the fate of Pooh Bridge has resulted in offers being made of both financial and practical aid from the construction trade, the Walt Disney Company and individual members of the public.
The County Council has gratefully accepted an offer from Cox Brothers, a large construction company from Maidstone, Kent who specialise in joinery work, and will design and construct the bridge as well as underwrite any shortfall in the County Council's budget for the work.
The oak timber for the entire structure is to be supplied free of charge by Morgan and Co (Strood) Ltd, and the Walt Disney Company has announced it will be making a substantial contribution to the costs involved.The East Sussex County Council website.