Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A bridge to Far ?

The Telegraph today ran a feature on British bridges. It is well worth a look, in the interests of chronology I will start with the Forth Bridge on the grounds that I was born in Edinburgh and I would guess it was the first major bridge I crossed.

” Connecting Edinburgh with Fife, the Forth Bridge is one is Scotland’s most-loved landmarks. Opened in 1890, for over two decades it was the longest single cantilever bridge in the world. Over 60 men are thought to have lost their lives during its construction.”

Now I spent a few years in Dundee so it would seem appropriate to include the Tay Bridge. I am guessing I crossed it a few times.

” The foundation stone of the Tay Bridge, connecting the city of Dundee and Wormit in Fife, was laid on July 6 1883, though it did not open for another four years. Another bridge previously existed on the same stretch of river, but famously collapsed in 1879, killing all 75 people on board the train travelling over it at the time.”

Actually the only Dundee bridge I can remember is the Seven Arches Bridge that connected Monifieth to Dundee I gather the rail tracks had been ripped up and sent to Japan to fuel a booming car industry, how the world has changed ?

It doesn’t feature in the Telegraph article but I remember it well.

OK I have concentrated on Scottish bridges  but British bridges would not be complete without the most famous bridge in the world.

” There is perhaps no bridge in the world more famous than London’s Tower Bridge, which has stood in the capital since the late 19th century. Famously, in 1952 the bridge opened while a double decker bus was crossing it. The driver made the decision to take the vehicle over the gap, and landed safely on the other side.”

Walking across Tower Bridge is a must do. The Empire is fading but sometimes you can get a feel for it.

” Tonight I am feeling for you
under the state of a strange land
you have sacrificed much to be here
‘there but for grace…’ as I offer my hand
welcome home,
I bid you welcome,
I  bid you welcome welcome home
from the bottom of my heart
out here on the edge the empire is fading by the day
and the world is so weary in war
maybe we’ll find that new way “

( Dave Dobbin Welcome Home)

Hat Tip Not PC


  1. My father came from Dundee and had an old painting of the Tay Bridge.

    Another famous British bridge is the one in the thousand Acre Wood where Pooh Bear and friends played Pooh Sticks - it's still there and I've played Pooh Sticks on it.

    1. Hey Ele, For me the Seven Arches Bridge was a magic place. Dad had warned me trolls lived under it and it was only safe in daylight.
      I wasunaware of Pooh sticks but I will organise a tournament on the Arrow River this Christmas. I am going to email this link

      to parents of the participants tonight.