A CRANE is perched precariously on the bridge being built across the River Irwell at Prestolee.

Taken in 1960, this great photograph shows work underway to construct the bridge which would support a sewage pipe connecting the Hacken Sewage Works on one side of the river to the new sewage disposal unit at Ringley on the other.

The bridge was a major engineering feat with large steel girders having to be transported to a difficult to access site and then lifted into position by the crane which just fit on to the new construction.

It may look from the picture as though the river was frozen over but what you can see is foam produced by industrial effluent getting in the water course.

Foaming rivers were a common sight around Bolton in the Fifties and Sixties with many factories pouring their waste into the rivers and streams before legislation was tightened up. Often the rivers would be either orange or brown due to the chemicals being released which often did untold damage to fish stocks and other wildlife.

Thankfully the Irwell is much cleaner now and the foam has gone.