Iron Bridge is back in full living colour
After more than a year's work of non-stop renovation, the Iron Bridge has reopened for all those who wish to walk over a piece of history.
The bridge, now in its original colours of a rustic iron red, was officially reopened on Monday and has already received praise from local dignitaries and residents.
Sarah Bridges, 37, who was at the opening of the bridge with her daughter Ella, said it was wonderful to see the bridge for the first time with its new-look.
"Work needed to be done to make it safe again and I think the new colour really makes it stand out," she said.
"This is the first time I've seen it since it's been done and I have to say I'm impressed compared to what it used to look like."
Watch the official opening of the Iron Bridge:
Opened by Michael Darby, the great great great grandson of Abraham Darby, the main man responsible for building the bridge in 1779, it was broadcast live by the BBC's The One Show.
Councillor Raj Mehta, mayor of Telford & Wrekin, said: "This is a piece of world heritage on our doorstep and why not celebrate it.
"It's like everything in life that we like to keep up to date and looking good, in our homes we like to have new carpets and new paint work for example so why not do the same to this magnificent bridge – it's very well deserved and well done to English Heritage for everything they've done with it.
"As I was driving up to the bridge myself – you can see it from a distance and it's looking really beautiful in its original colours.
"Of course that comes from me as someone who lives around here, but I've heard visitors and people who have come from other countries already sing its praises and now after the refurbishment it's even more beautiful than ever.
He added: "It's great to have it opened by the local children around here. They are the next generation so for them to be involved is amazing and hopefully something they will remember into their adult life."
Councillor Nicola Lowery, borough councillor for the Ironbridge Gorge said: “The atmosphere at the Iron Bridge's opening was electric and it was incredible to see the amount of families that attended to mark the completion of this historic project.
"It is truly inspiring to see how many people have supported this important conservation project and it's been wonderful to have had the opportunity to celebrate the return of our beloved Iron Bridge as a community.
"The Ironbridge Conservation Project has successfully preserved the bridge for generations and it's great the bridge and the wonders of the Gorge has been broadcast to the nation.
"As a community we are incredibly proud to see the bridge stand in all its glory as a symbol of our historic achievements as the birthplace of the industrial revolution”.
Reverend Keith Osmund-Smith, former chairman of Gorge Parish Council, said: "I think the bridge is looking absolutely phenomenal.
"I've got a suspicion it's going to be a bit like Marmite for a time, where those who remember the grey and silver of years gone by will long for that, but now it's been restored to what we believe to be the original colour scheme and I think it will draw even more people in.
"It certainly does look splendid within the gorge and we need something red what with the disappearance of the cooling towers to come shortly.
"I think its critical for the borough that it is now open. It's often described as the jewel in the crown of the borough of Telford & Wrekin and it's the most important tourist attraction for this area. It really does attract tens of thousands of people and hopefully in its refurbished state it will continue to attract more people over the years to come."