m42   The Motorway Comes to Appleby
  Building the M42 in 1986

To mark the 20th anniversary of the extension of the M42 to Appleby we published a series of photographs taken by Richard Dunmore of the work as it progressed. The pictures were not transferred to the new village web site when it was revamped but now we are re-publishing them with Richard's original text....

Building the M42 and Salt Street Bridge

Twenty years ago the M42 approached Appleby Fields crossroads - soon to become Junction 11.  Work on this northernmost section of the motorway was completed and opened in the autumn of 1986. The contractors were Tarmac Construction.  Measham and Ashby had two years to endure the through-traffic before the A42 by-pass (contractors A F Budge) was completed as far as Tonge near Breedon.  Eventually, the final link was made with the M1 at Kegworth.

My photographs (from 35mm slides) show work in progress on the M42 into Appleby parish from the sometimes snowy  winter of 1985-86 through to September 1986 shortly before the road opened.

The ancient trackway called Salt Street passes along the ridge of Appleby Hill along the county boundary with Warwickshire near No Mans Heath.  The bridge which carries Salt Street over the M42 is the  most spectacular feature of this section of the motorway.  Special care was taken in the design because of its prominent position on the sky-line.  It must rank among the most graceful of motorway bridges. 

Also shown in the photos is Appleby Fields Farmhouse - the Red Lion Inn of 18th and 19th century coaching days.   Marooned by the new roundabout, it would soon be demolished to make way for Appleby Service Station.  Although the old coaching inn was lost, the site continues to cater for travellers - now by cars and trucks rather than by the horse-drawn coaches and carts of old.

 Richard Dunmore, August 2006

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