TV weatherman Derek Brockway cut a ribbon as villagers celebrated the re-opening of a bridge across the Wye.

Mr Brockway, who makes forecasts for BBC Wales viewers spent a few days in the Wye Valley this filming the new series of his popular Weatherman Walking in which he takes in the stories of Wales on foot.

On Wednesday (June 21), he was in Tintern finding out more about the recently re-opened Wireworks Bridge.

He was welcomed to the village by Vivien Richards of the Tintern Business Forum who gave an introduction about the history and importance of the bridge.

Mr Brockway said: “I’ve never opened a bridge before but there is a first time for everything.

“I hope it will continue to cross the River Wye for centuries to come.”

Ms Richards said although Tintern was world-famous for its Cistercian abbey, there was “another history, hiding in plain sight – the Wireworks Bridge is its most prominent landmark”

She added: “For three centuries from Tudor times Tintern was not the tranquil place we know today but a heavily populated inferno of heat, noise and sulphrous fumes from the UK’s first and foremost wire making industry.

“The Wireworks Bridge was opened in 1876 as a  tramway to take iron wire made in the Angiddy Valley to the railway network on the English bank of the Wye.

“The tramway closed in 1935 and the tracks lifted in World War II but the bridge survived and went on to have a key role in the tourist economy of Tintern and more widely Monmouthshire and the Forest of Dean

“It has provided a vital link  between Wales and England and the footpaths of the Wye Valley Way in Monmouthshire and Offa’s Dyke in Gloucestershire

“Recently its economic importance has been enhanced by the creation of the Wye Valley Greenway.

“The bridge forms a very popular route from Tintern to the Devil’s Pulpit and now through the Tidenham Tunnel to Chepstow.

“Today we are celebrating another important milestone in the history of the bridge, its renewal for future generations at a cost of £1.5 million, a triumph of engineering and of cross-border co-operation by the local authorities, Gloucestershire County Council and Monmouthshire County Council.

“It is a fantastic achievement and has caused much pride and excitement in our community.

“It is very fitting that Derek Brockway is here to formally re-open the bridge. No-one advocates the enjoyment of walking in and experiencing the beauty of the Welsh landscape more persuasively.”

Earlier in the day, the weatherman had arrived by canoe and met the Caroline Simpson who runs the Ferry Farm camping site on the English bank of the river and her children, Freya and Brooklyn.

The slip at Ferry Farm is one of the few accesses for canoes in the area.

In the canoe with the   presenter was Stuart Wyley of Symonds Yat-based Wye Adventures.

The bridge was closed in August 2021 over safety concerns and the Simpson family had to go “the long way around” via Brockweir 

Caroline’s mother, Mrs Mary Simpson, who lives in Whitelye above Tintern, said: “The bridge is the easiest way to get to Ferry Farm.

“We’ve had to go the long way around which has made a 10-minute journey into a 45-minute journey.”

Mr Brockway was filming in the Wye Valley for three days finishing in Chepstow today (Friday).

The new series of Weatherman Walking will be broadcast on BBC Wales next Spring.