An ambitious project by the Northam and Districts Historical Society to name every bridge and underpass in the town and its surrounds culminated with a celebration last month.

The bridges and underpasses were named after people and events in the early history of the district. The project included the erection of explanatory plaques at each site and publication of two information booklets.

One of the project’s instigators, Northam artist, Meryl Bell, said the project aimed to raise awareness of people and events in Northam’s history and to get people to look back on them.

Don Bell who was also a major force behind the project said that the bridges and underpasses were previously un-named and provided a wonderful opportunity to draw attention to people and milestones in the early development of the area.

The project brought into focus its commerce, enterprise, education, environmental assets, families and individual achievements. The plaques and booklets helped preserve history for locals and provided a point of interest for visitors, he said.

Don acknowledged the support of Main Roads WA, Lotterywest, the Shire of Northam and the numerous people who provided information that made the project possible.

The booklets are available from the Northam visitors centre.

Lindsay McNeill

WEB PAGE: Don and Meryl Bell (right) with Northam visitors centre and council staff who brought to fruition the project to name the bridges and underpasses and publish the information booklets.

ABOVE:  Don and Meryl Bell with Northam Shire President, Steven Pollard, beside the plaque at the suspension bridge over the Avon River in Northam.