Stokes Bridge
Posted: 13 June 2008 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]
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My father in law’s grand mother used to say she had reached ‘Stoke’s Bridge’ when she was full. He has been searching for what this actually meant.
although he has found that there are several Stoke’s bridges in the uk there is no link to why she would use this phrase.

She lived in Hereford and he at first thought this must be a local phase although he can’t find any Stoke’s bridge in that area. now someone else says they are sure one of their relatives in the north of England (Manchester area) used to use this phrase.

Has anyone heard of this, and if so do you know what it means and the origin?

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Posted: 14 June 2008 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Just a guess, but the Stokes Bridge north of Birmingham is almost impassable (in these times) as the water is shallow and the bridge narrow.

edit: too many prepositions.

[ Edited: 14 June 2008 11:14 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 16 June 2008 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Another guess: was there a Stokes Bridge that formed the head of navigation of a navigable river, or the end of a canal?  If so, then to have reached it in a canal boat would mean you could go no further.  Perhaps the OP’s father-in-law could check the canals and river navigations around Manchester.

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Posted: 22 June 2008 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Fascinated to find this discussion! My grandfather used the phrase ‘reached Stokes Bridge’ to mean ‘full’ too, and it has passed into our family’s vocabulary.
He was brought up in Stafford and I assumed it was a saying from that area. Someone else has mentioned the Stokes Bridge north of Birmingham which takes Leamore Lane over the Wyrley & Essington Canal between Bloxwich and Wednesfield - only 16 miles from Stafford. The bridge at Stokes Bridge now is a modern structure but it must have replaced an older one which, one imagines, may have caused a bottleneck either to canal traffic or to traffic along the lane. All pure speculation! It would probably need someone with knowledge of the history of the canals in that area to sort it out.
It is most interesting to find someone else who knows the phrase - I had begun to think it was only known in my family.

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Posted: 22 June 2008 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I don’t know which “Stokes Bridge” is referred to in this expression, but I suspect that the meaning of the expression is unrelated to any characteristic of the bridge other than its name. I think “I’ve reached Stokes Bridge” = “I’ve reached my stoking limit” or so, where “stoke” = “eat a big meal” or “feed abundantly or to excess” [MW3].

Maybe if there had been no Stokes Bridge around, but rather a Stokes Hill, the expression would be “I’ve reached Stokes Hill”, with the same meaning, again regardless of the nature of the hill.

Then again, maybe there didn’t even need to be a known Stokes Bridge. The expression might be something like “Fat City” or “Easy Street”.

Just a guess.

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