Graham will be honoured as Wilson Bridge at Copley, Halifax, rebuilt after floods, re-opens to public

The late Mr Graham Wilson, who is being honoured by Calderdale Council when the bridge at Copley, Halifax, is renamed Wilson Bridge today following rebuilding after the historic original was destroyed in the Boxing Day 2015 floods
The late Mr Graham Wilson, who is being honoured by Calderdale Council when the bridge at Copley, Halifax, is renamed Wilson Bridge today following rebuilding after the historic original was destroyed in the Boxing Day 2015 floods

Almost two years after the devastating Boxing Day floods a rebuilt bridge re-opens day, honouring a man who until he passed away recently lived in the adjacent toll house.

Local people will once again be able to use the bridge in Copley from today, Thursday, October 12, when it is officially reopened and named Wilson Bridge during a special ceremony.

Calderdale Council is holding the free community event to celebrate the completion of its work to replace the 185-year-old bridge, after it was destroyed by the 2015 floods.

The bridge will be named after Mr Graham Wilson, who lived at the adjacent toll house for many years until his recent death.

Children from Copley Primary School and the local community chose the name as a fitting tribute to Mr Wilson, and are attending the official ceremony.

The Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Ferman Ali, will officially open the newly rebuilt bridge, along with members of the Wilson family. The event will include a speech by the Leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift.

The bridge naming takes place at 1.30pm, with a ribbon cutting at 1.40pm and a public tour of the toll house from 1.45pm, led by the Wilson family.

Coun Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “Teams have worked very hard to rebuild the bridge and we’re looking forward to returning a much stronger structure to the people of Copley. We hope to see lots of local people at the official opening ceremony.

“It’s an honour to be joined by members of the Wilson family at the event, where they can play a part in the bridge’s story, just as Graham did for many years.”

Wilson Bridge is made of three steel sections to make it stronger, and includes stone from the original Copley Bridge.

The steel sections were lifted into place across the river by a 350-tonne crane on September 9.

The new structure will provide access for pedestrians, horses and non-motorised vehicles and reconnect the two sides of the valley.

It will feature a new plaque and stone pillar containing its new name.

The work to rebuild the bridge has been financed by Department for Transport flood recovery funding.