LAST weekend, the A1(M) through North Yorkshire was closed for 34 hours as Fort Bridge, near Catterick, was demolished.

Well, it was supposed to be 34 hours, but with the help of the torrential weather, Fort Bridge put up a very good fight against the demolishers, and so the work over-ran by 90 minutes. The motorway didn’t reopen until 7.30am on Monday, by which time impressive queues had built up.

Fort Bridge carried the A6136 over the A1(M) as it ran from Catterick Bridge to Catterick camp. Fort Bridge also carried the Catterick Military Railway on the same journey.

Construction of the bridge started in 1957, when the 3.5 mile Catterick by-pass, which cost £1.06m, was the first major upgrade of the A1 in North Yorkshire after the war.

It was opened, we think, in November 1959 (has anyone got a precise date?) by Lord Chesham, the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport, and an all-round motoring enthusiast.

Road and rail ran side by side over Fort Bridge until passenger traffic on the military railway ceased on October 26, 1964. The railway was dismantled in late 1970, which gave the A6136 the sole use of Fort Bridge.

All that changed last weekend, as after 56 years Fort Bridge was destroyed.

However, photographer Jack Armstrong captured the construction of Fort Bridge in the late 1950s, and we are indebted to Richard Barber of the Armstrong Railway Photographic Trust for sending us these pictures of a bridge that is no more.