As Wickford grew and traffic increased at the beginning of the 20th century, the bridges across the Crouch at Southend Road and Nevendon Road were causing congestion. Local representatives asked Essex County Council for work to be carried out to widen the bridges but the money was not available until 1915. The children were given the day off school to celebrate the opening of the long awaited bridge across the Crouch on Southend Road. A crowd had gathered to watch.
There is a local story that George V was passing along Wickford High Street on his way to Burnham on Crouch to visit his yacht when he saw the crowd and stopped to ask what was happening. When told, he offered to open the bridge.
I don’t know if this is true.