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David Winter Collectors Guild 2002 - Bridges
Cottage Country (1 of 2002)
Cottage Country
Issue 1 of 2002
Bridges - The 2002 Guild
Cottage Country (1 of 2002)
Cottage Country
Issue 1 of 2002

 The theme of this year's Guild pieces is bridges. Each bridge in this collection is not only separated by time but also in style, dating from pre-history to Victorian times...

The Guild Pieces
Godstow - Thames
 In making the theme for this year's guild David has again captured the very character of our British heritage. From the different styles, techniques and materials needed to make a safe and dry means of crossing a river David has demonstrated in this year's Guild pieces that despite being functional bridges can also be attractive.

 David has again excelled himself in creating some more unusual and special cottages just for members of the 2002 Guild.

 From the very earliest bridge designs of "Avebury Crossing", through ornate wooden structures in "Cedar Span", to the solidness and practical use of more modern materials in "Old Iron Bridge" this years Guild pieces evoke yet again the functional but attractive architecture that mankind has created through the ages.


Cedar Span
Guild Membership Free Gift

Ten Foot Bridge - Thames
 Once known as the old cedar toll bridge, this cottage and bridge date back to Tudor times. Built during the reign of Henry VIII it formed a valuable link between two villages. Prior to the bridge, the river was a dangerous place to cross and necessitated a detour of many miles. Once the bridge was built a small toll was charged to recover the costs of its construction. After five years the people using the bridge felt that the construction costs must have been more than recovered and that the toll was unfair. The Lord of the manor, being fearful for the safety of his family should a rebellion ensue, soon revoked the toll. He drew up a contract with both villages decreeing that they would have free passage across the bridge, on the understanding that both villages would be jointly responsible for the upkeep of the bridge. With all in agreement this is how it remains to this day.


Avebury Crossing
Guild Redemption Piece No. 31

A Simple Beam Bridge
 When a team of archaeologists stumbled across the ruin of this river-crossing it caused quite a stir. The original ancient Neolithic bridge stones were found in the riverbed forming a small cascade, but the upright pier stones were still in position after six thousand years! The excavation revealed many exciting discoveries, from Bronze Age axe heads to flint tools, all proving that the crossing could have been in use for many hundreds of years before falling into the river. Most exciting of all was the discovery of the remains of a stone roundhouse beside the bridge. Although no one could be sure how tins particular building would have looked, no pictures or records exist, it was decided to go ahead with the reconstruction with some architectural guess-work. The round-house is now a small museum housing some of the artefacts found during the dig and has become a place of great interest for walkers and historians alike.


Old Iron Bridge
Guild Redemption Piece No. 32

Iron Bridge - Coalbrookdale
 Dating back to the time of the Industrial Revolution, this water tower and steam pump-house was originally to be built on the other bank of the river. However, when the work started, it was soon realised that the ground was far too boggy to support such a heavy structure. Fortunately the other riverbank was on bedrock and was covered in only a thin layer of topsoil which was deemed to be much more suitable for the build. Before the construction could proceed a bridge had to be built across the river - no mean feat indeed! At first the plans were drawn up for a temporary bridge, but the cost was not far short of building a permanent one - so that idea was soon abandoned. After the completion of the iron bridge, the work to build the water tower and pump-house could commence, thus ensuring that tins 'monument to iron' remains an inspiration to engineers to this day.

 Please note that these exclusive collages are only available to Guild Members and only during 2002.

Other bridge related cottages.....


Limestone Brook
Year 2002 David Winter Appearance Piece

Arch Bridge
 Along a tree lined country trail, beside a sparkling brook, sits this picturesque little cottage. The stepping stones beside the cottage are used by many walkers and ramblers each year to cross the brook The cottage was built around 1825 and was used as a sub-post house and watering stop for mail coaches. Its life as a sub-post house was short lived and it has had many different uses in the years since. Unlike a lot of cottages set in such a rural area, it has never been allowed to become run down and has always been well maintained. The family who live here at present, have lived here for many years, and although quite far from any local amenities, they could never imagine living anywhere else. During the summer months it becomes a tea room where light refreshments are served - walkers are even welcome to rest and enjoy their own picnics in the pretty garden.


Tollkeeper's Cottage
The Main Collection (Retired 1992)

Pack Horse Bridge (Wycollar)
 The tollkeeper developed with the Turnpike Road System which was created to pay for the upkeep of Britain's highways and byways. He enjoyed a good standard of living; most turnpikes were established for 21 years which meant a secure future for him and his family, provided he did the job thoroughly. And the cottage would have been rent-free for the duration. There were also perks - money from travellers that never found its way into the ledgers. But all was not necessarily well between the tollkeeper and the rest of the rural community. He was despised for taking money from others simply to travel over a stretch of road and often led an isolated existence.

 Local folk knew the drovers' tracks and side lanes and could usually avoid the toll gates. However, this particular tollkeeper is fortunate enough to be positioned on a bridge over a river, where there are few alternative routes. His takings are excellent - but his popularity is not so good!


Only A Span Apart
The Irish Collection (Retired 1993)

 Here are two communities living their lives in close proximity. They are both Irish, they speak the same language, they eat the same foods, they do the same work and enjoy the same relaxations. They live in a country blessed with stunning natural beauty. They regulate their daily activity to the same hours, days and weeks of the year. They are good people.
Humber Bridge

 Between them runs a river which divides one community from the other. It's basically a small river - little more than a stream most of the time. It has been flowing there for as long as anyone cares to remember; it ebbs and flows, sometimes barely a trickle and at other times a raging torrent that threatens to sweep away all in its path. Across the river is a bridge. It's been there for many years, as long as the communities themselves. Yet it is rarely used.

 Here are two communities living their lives in close proximity - only a span apart.


Arches Thrice
1993 US Event Piece (Retired 1993)

 Being a smallish island, Great Britain is naturally surrounded by water - the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. Being a very wet country (it sometimes feels it has rained every day for a month) we have brooks, streams, rivers, ponds and lakes doted about all over the place and one is never far from an expanse of glistening fresh water.

 When thinking about the theme of the 1993 Guild, David came up with the idea of 'rivers and lakes' because it posed splendid opportunities for sculptural forms. It also gave us the chance of inviting collectors to participate in boating events together and to do what they like doing best - meeting other collectors and talking about cottages.
Chenonceau Castle - France

 Originally there was no event piece for the U.S.A. East Coast Tour in 1993, but everybody involved pleaded with David to make a very special cottage to commemorate the tour and also to involve to involve the collectors and stockists who had participated in the 1992 West Coast Tour. All David had to do then was to create from scratch a fabulous sculpture that would be a landmark piece - in just two weeks!

 It was a logical step for this piece to develop the Guild theme of 'rivers and lakes', but it was the most amazing leap of imagination actually to put a series of buildings on top of a bridge. The inspiration came partly from the original London Bridge over the Thames which was a very long bridge housing a small town of about 100 dwellings.

 David enjoyed Arches Thrice very much indeed and will remember it as the David Winter Cottage that came right immediately, almost as if it was meant to be exactly as it is.


Birth Day Cottage (Arches Thwonce)
1993 Painting Promotion Piece (Retired 1994)

Radcot Bridge
 Birth Day Cottage has been sculptured by David Winter to be available exclusively at instore promotions. Each piece is personalised to reflect the collector's birthday. Our painter attaches two small metal signs to the front of the cottage, between two beams in the rickety gabled roof, which show the day and month of the owner's birth. (We have tactfully omitted the year for the sake of those who prefer not to be reminded of such things!) The painter also adds the collector's initials to a special plaque situated next to the front door. This makes every piece a unique, specially customised David Winter Cottage.

 David sculptured Birth Day Cottage immediately after completing Arches Thrice, the piece available only during his 1993 USA Tour. As it name implies, this piece consists of a small hamlet built on a bridge with three arches spanning a river, Birth Day Cottage is a house built over a single arch spanning a river. When the original was finished, David mischievously wrote on the base "Arches Thwonce" - and so the piece gained an unusual but delightful alternative title!


Brooklet Bridge

Arch Bridge
The David Winter Cameos (Retired 1995)

 Brooklet Bridge is an often overlooked, yet much used feature of a village. This scene of rural calm and gentle peacefulness is reminiscent of walks through the countryside with the dogs, watching them having a good sniff at every blade of grass and fern. As soon as they scent water, they are off like rocketing pheasants to splash about in the stream, they get revoltingly muddy and then shake the mud and water off onto passers by! Brooklet Bridge evokes David's warmest countryside memories.


The Tickled Trout
Newbridge Rose
The Pubs and Taverns of England Collection (Limited Edition of 4500) (Retired 1998)

 What wonderfully evocative names these old inns have "The Tickled Trout" simply has to be a favourite haunt of fishermen. The river over which the pub stands is rich in trout and crayfish, and the menu is based largely upon these gourmet delights.

 Centuries ago great granite slabs were lowered into place here (by Stone Age man David thinks), to form a bridge across the river. With their limited equipment, this was an astonishing feat for these early bridge builders. Centuries ago, too, a small fort was built here to protect and guard the river crossing. The fort fell into ruin a very long time ago. Finally, the debris was cleared away and some of the stones were given a new, useful purpose in life by being incorporated into the building of "The Tickled Trout".

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Many of the pictures used in this article have been supplied by my father who retains their copyright.

 Click here to read more about the The Types and History of Bridges.

Please note that even though every attempt is made to make sure that all information contained in this News Page is accurate and up to date items reported on may change without my knowledge. Prices quoted are only valid in the UK and are the recommended retail prices as supplied. Also the pictures of the cottages are only meant to give an impression of what they will be like. The colouration of the cottages may not be 100% accurate and may change when the pieces are released. The release dates supplied may also be subject to change and are believed to be accurate at this time.
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