Some time ago I wrote of the bridge-building activity in 1959, when several footbridges were constructed to replace existing structures past their best.
Malcolm Douglas, the first Nature Conservancy Council warden on the Mar side of the Cairngorms, told how he had been involved in a number of projects, including bridges over the Derry at Derry Dam, over the Glas Allt Mor, and, of course over the Dee at Corrour.
There had been a bridge of sorts at Corrour too. After a drowning accident in 1950, a wire bridge was built, described by Syd Scroggie after a visit in 1955 as a telegraph pole driven into each side of the bank with two parallel wires slung between them. I’ve heard other reports that the wires weren’t always very well tensioned, leading to some amusing or desperate crossings, depending on whether you were the one doing the crossing or the watching!
The need for replacement seemed quite clear, and the ubiquitous Dr George Taylor, of Cairngorm Club and Aberdeen University designed aluminium bridges for both Corrour and Derry Dam. They were financed by the Nature Conservancy Council and all built in 1959, with Malcolm and Bob Scott among those helping the students at Corrour.
Materials were flown to the various locations by helicopter, an option that had been considered and rejected on cost grounds by the Cairngorm Club for the erection of the Luibeg Bridge just over 10 years previously. However Malcolm said that the cost and time to move the materials by manpower and horsepower would have been greater.
“When the chopper first arrived in Braemar it caused great excitement. All materials had been trucked into the flat opposite Bob Scotts cottage and loading and some unloading labour at delivery sites was freely given by Bob and other Mar Lodge stalkers, plus some Braemar locals whose reward was a flight on the chopper to and from the delivery sites.
Recently a great set of pictures emerged depicting the building of the Corrour Bridge, from the Bill Ewen collection, courtesy of his grandson Alasdair, which can be seen below.