The coastal path at Port Erin is now completely open as the stretch at Spaldrick, including a new bridge – closed a decade ago when a burst water main destabilised the bank – has been reinstated.
The new bridge was opened on Saturday and is named after Tony Wright, who was a popular and active member of the community until his death in 2013.
His focus was in helping children, particularly those who had lost their way, meaning the bridge also has symbolic significance.
The plaque reads he is ‘fondly remembered as commissioner, teacher, community officer, husband and father.’ He ‘helped so many children to step on the right path of life’.
‘It’s a fantastic honour for Tony,’ said his widow Cath. ‘He used to walk over that bridge and he always wanted to get it back to where it was. I thought any of the kids who knew him and if they’re in trouble when they walk over it it would make them feel better. I’m so proud of it. I can go over it and think of him every time.’
Commissioners’ chairman Nick Watterson said: ‘Despite this taking too many years to come to fruition, I hope our excitement is matched by that of the general public and that the path is once again a regularly trodden route from the village centre to Bradda and back.
‘Not only is this a great day for Port Erin but a great relief for the board which can finally delete the bridge from the agenda of our regular meetings.’