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Newey Bridge, Convict Station Drift
Qonce (King William's Town) district, Eastern Cape




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33°00'35.42" S 26°58'33.97" E Alt: 261m

This double span, segmental arched, reinforced concrete bridge over the Keiskamma River, was erected to replace a suspension bridge, designed by Joseph NEWEY, a short distance to the north.

A small rectangular tapered concrete pylon was installed on the northern side of the western and eastern approaches to the concrete bridge. Both pylons were provided with a rectangular recess, with chamfered sides, to accommodate a metal plaque.

The wording of the plaque was recorded in a contemporary newspaper article published in the Cape Mercury in December 1933. The wording was transcribed by Walters (2014):

This bridge is named
Joseph Newey, M.I.C.E., J.P., F.I.I.,
who was
Engineer on Staff
of Chief Inspector of Public Works
1872 - 1881.
District Inspector
of Public Works for Midlands,
Eastern Province & Native Territories,
1881 - 1893.
Chief Inspector of Public Works,
Cape Colony.
1893 - 1905.

It is assumed that identical plaques were installed on both pylons. This has however not been confirmed, as both plaques have unfortunately been removed. One of the plaques was fortunately photographed prior to its theft - see photograph right.

The recess for the plaque on the pylon on the western approach had a name and date scratched onto the face of the wet concrete namely: W C Simpson, December 11, 1933. It is not unlikely that Simpson was working for the bridge contractor.

Ref: Walters 2014:103-104.

(William MARTINSON 2014)

Writings about this entry

Walters, Dennis. 2014. Bridging the Eastern Cape : the life and work of Joseph Newey. East London: Coral Tree Press. pg 103-104