40 years ago Carnival Bridge became the final link in the circular path

In July 1979, Carnival Bridge was built over the culvert that takes water from the main pond into the small pond (now owned by the Heron on the Lake).

One of the main ambitions of the newly formed Fleet Pond Society had been to install a footpath around the full circuit of Fleet Pond. The bridge provided the final link in the creation of the circular path we still use. Walkers would no longer need to climb the railway embankment at Fleet station and scramble down again at Boathouse Corner.

Work on the construction of the footpath had begun in 1978 using timber sleepers and infilled with broken blocks donated by the Hemelite Company, then based on the Industrial Estate by Fleet Station (now the Waterfront Business Park). Two ex-army steel pontoons were used to ship blocks along the path as the construction progressed.

By 2011, Carnival Bridge was showing serious corrosion, and the concrete supports were cracking. The bridge was removed and replaced with the timber bridge we use today. The old Carnival Bridge played too important a role in Fleet Pond history to be scrapped, and it now serves as the access bridge from Wood Lane.

Colin Gray