A LOSSIEMOUTH HISTORIAN has been highlighting the real challenges facing the local community if they are to save one of the most alluring landmarks in Moray.
Last week members of the Lossiemouth Community Development Trust (LCDT) revealed how they were desparate to save the iconic Seatown bridge over the River Lossie, linking the historic fishing town with the expansive and popular East Beach.
Maintenance on the bridge has been largely neglected for years, with its legal ownership the main stumbling block for the town’s Community Council, who have been attempting to establish how the community might take control of the situation.
A local solicitor has now agreed to carry out investigation of that on behalf of the LCDT, in the hope that once established steps can finally be taken to investigate funding for repairs to the structure and future management of what they see as one of the town’s most vital assets.
Moray Council, while admitting liability over public safety on the structure, have consistently denied that they have legal ownership – resulting in an apparently unbreakable stalemate.
Now respected historian Donnie Stewart, who has authored several books and videos depicting the history of the town, has released video footage showing the true condition of the structure (see video below).
Donnie’s film shows that while the wooden slats and supports on the bridge are in a surprisingly good condition, the metalwork, in several places, is rusting away and could be seen as a major health and safety hazard.
Donna Milne, who chairs the Lossiemouth Community Development Trust, said: “We are once again extremely grateful to Donnie for highlighting a local issue for which he, above anyone in the town, has particular knowledge and skill.
“The video demonstrates that while the bridge cannot be said to be on the verge of collapse it is vital that action is taken to, in the very least, bring it up to a safe standard that would not be seen as a danger to the public.
“This bridge is not only a historic icon in Lossiemouth, it is a vital link between the town and the East Beach, used by thousands of locals and visitors on a daily basis. Wrangling over the ownership of the bridge has gone on for long enough, it is time for the words to stop and action to begin.”
Local councillor John Cowe is an ex-officio member of the LCDT. He added: “I am working with the Trust and the Moray Council to ascertain the ownership of the bridge as, until that is confirmed, funding and repair of the Seatown Bridge cannot be achieved.”