Introducing the Bright Lights of Birchenough Bridge
When it comes to buzz and bustle Birchenough Bridge is no New York or London. However, this is not to say that this small town does not have a charm all of its own... and plenty of both buzz and bustle.
Birchenough Bridge is a small town to the North East of Chishakwe and is about a 50km trip to reach by road. It sits just to the side of the tar road which is overlooked by a row of small stores which sell anything from hardware to hair products. There are also a number of "beer halls" which serve clients throughout the day and night.
The town is named after the should-be-more-famous bridge which sits on its Eastern side and which spans the Save River. The Birchenough Bridge is a masterful piece of engineering. The bridge was completed through the Beit Foundation in 1935 at a cost of £145,000. At a length of 329 meters it was the 3rd longest single arch suspension bridge in the world in its day. It was designed by Ralph Freeman, who also designed the much-more-famous but similar (though longer) Sydney harbor bridge in Australia.
The ashes of Sir Henry Birchenough, who was chair of the Beit Trust at the time of the bridge being built, are buried beneath it and there is a commemorative plaque to one side of the bridge.
Birchenough Bridge offers visitors, especially those new to the area, the opportunity to enjoy a uniquely Zimbabwean and varied shopping experience in this busy, somewhat chaotic, little town. Traffic jams are likely to be something different too ... an ox stubbornly blocking the road or a donkey cart parked badly. Half day excursions can be organised for clients staying at Chishakwe.