Wanted: Swing bridge operator. Must have head for heights.

Cross Keys Swing Bridge at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire. Picture: Chris Bishop

Cross Keys Swing Bridge at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

You could hardly call it a run of the mill job. Perched on a pier in the middle of a river, watching the world go by until a ship needs to pass.

But the rare role of operating a swing bridge has become vacant. Lincolnshire County Council is trying to recruit someone to work Cross Keys bridge, at Sutton Bridge.

The Grade II listed structure, built in 1897, carries the busy A17 across the tidal River Nene, on the Norfolk - Lincolnshire border.

Powerful hydraulics turn the bridge, to allow ships to pass on their way to and from the Port of Wisbech.

The council says you need to have a head for heights and not be afraid of water or confined spaces.

A job description on its website adds: 'The position requires a self-motivated, self-reliant individual, who is able to demonstrate an intelligent common sense approach to problems and communicate effectively with colleagues, members of the public and contractors.'

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The operator needs to live within 10 miles of the bridge and be prepared to work anti-social hours.

They will be working alone, sharing a 24-hour rota with two other operators to ensure the bridge is permanently-staffed.

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The job description on the council's website adds: 'As well as being required to have four GCSEs (or equivalent) at C or above, some understanding of mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems is required.

'Experience in traffic management and VHF radio operation would be advantageous, although training will be given to the successful candidate in any areas where a need is identified.

'Normal operation of the bridge is done using a computer system, and so at least basic IT skills are required.'

The bridge operator can expect to earn up to £25,329, depending which shift pattern they opt to work.

The closing date is Sunday, January 27.

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