A NEW plaque has been unveiled on Clifton Bridge to commemorate its opening after the previous sign was vandalised.

The bridge was opened by the then Lord Mayor of York, Alderman Archibald Kirk, on October 27 1963.

But the plaque was stolen in 2014.

Following a campaign by Clifton councillors Danny Myers and Margaret Wells to replace the sign, the council worked with York Civic Trust to create a new plaque.

David Fraser, chief executive of York Civic Trust, said he was pleased to welcome three generations from Archibald Kirk’s family to the unveiling ceremony - including Alderman Kirk’s great great granddaughter Nancy Parker.

He said: “The opening of the bridge in 1963 was quite an event. First there was a ferry across, then there was a temporary bridge.

“The Civic Trust’s City Enhancement Programme is about improving details of the historic city so they don’t get forgotten. Hopefully as people walk past they will be reminded of the depth of history in this city.”

Before the bridge was built, the only way to get from Leeman Road and Acomb to Clifton was by going through the city centre or by taking a ferry across the River Ouse.

In 1961 soldiers from the 38 Corps Engineer Regiment built a temporary bridge at Water End to handle extra traffic caused by the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, which took place at York Minster. On June 8, 1961, the 25-year-old Duke of Kent – the grandson of King George V and cousin to The Queen and Prince Philip – married local girl Katharine Worsley, of Hovingham Hall.

The temporary bridge remained in place until Clifton Bridge opened in 1963.

Cllr Myers said: “The heritage of Clifton is important to us, and we want to ensure that all our local history is well looked after and remembered as a record for future generations.”

The replacement plaque cost £600 and was funded by the Civic Trust, whose volunteers carried out research and installation work.

Cllr Wells said: “We would like to thank members of the Kirk family for supplying us with the original designs of the plaque and for their support for a replacement.

"The Civic Trust have also been really good to work with on commissioning and installing the plaque. We hope to continue working closely with them around improvements that are being made to Clifton Green’s fencing and cattle trough.”