Topic: The Poet's Bridge

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The Poet's Bridge c1910 

The Taranaki Herald reported on 24 April, 1883 that, "the lucky winner who drew The Poet in the Auckland Autumn Handicap Sweepstake resides in New Plymouth, and has determined, in consequence of his good fortune, to erect a suspension bridge across the lake in the Recreation Grounds, to be called, we believe, "The Poet's Corner."

The lucky punter was James T. Davis, a local New Plymouth businessman, and the sum donated was £150. In the end the bridge was a fixed wooden structure with a span of 70 feet and has always been known as "The Poet's Bridge".

It was designed by Mr Henry Vere Barclay and the contruction was the responsibility of Mr Hooker. He was assisted by Mr William Campbell (carpenter), Mr James Bellringer (painter) and Mr James Revell (blacksmith). The bridge was officially opened on the evening of 10 March, 1884 by the Mayoress, Mrs Bayly.

In a tragic incident, Mr J.T. Davis was found dead in the lake, opposite the bathing shed, on the morning of 18 September 1891.

The original bridge was rebuilt in 1938. Its colour scheme is based on the famous red-lacquered Shinkyo Bridge at Nikko,Japan.

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