Friday, 9 January 2015

Underneath the Arches

Bud Flanagan wrote he song Underneath the Arches in 1927 and first performed it with Chesney Allen a week later at the Pier Pavilion in Southport.            But where are the arches?
In a TV programme thirty years later Flanagan said he wrote the song about Friargate Railway Bridge in Ashbourne Road, Derby whilst performing at the Hippodrome in Green Lane (currently at risk of demolition)

Click her to watch this Pathe News film from 1941  

Built in 1876 by a local firm Andrew Handyside & Co for the Great Northern Railway, it was closed to all rail traffic 100 years later.  The  underside of the two arches are ornate and this may have influenced Bud in writing the song.

After its closure British Railways transferred it to Derby Council on the understanding they would maintain it in perpetuity.   The interpretation of this expression by politicians appears to be until we forget about it.   It is currently in a poor state of repair and a petition has been established asking Derby Council to honour its commitment:

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