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Forth Bridge nominated for World Heritage Status

May 28 2012

Forth Bridge nominated for World Heritage Status
The Forth Bridge has been nominated for World Heritage status following submission by the Forth Bridges Forum, an organisation comprising Historic Scotland, bridge owners Network Rail, Transport Scotland, the Forth Estuary Transport Authority, Fife Council and City of Edinburgh Council.

It is the first large scale cantilevered bridge in the world, spanning some 1.5 miles across the Forth with 54,000 tonnes of steel.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “To have the Bridge inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site would be a tremendous accolade for the Bridge itself, for the local communities and for Scotland. This nomination has the potential to be a celebration of our country’s incredible engineering ingenuity and pedigree and I wish the team working on it all the best.”

David Simpson, route managing director for Network Rail Scotland, commented: “The bridge has become a source of pride and a symbol of Scotland’s resilience and ingenuity but we must never lose sight of the fact that it is first and foremost a working structure which still carries over 200 trains a day.”

Glasgow engineer, William Arrol, whose main works were in Dalmarnock and later also Parkhead, was the contractor responsible for delivering the £3.2m bridge (the equivalent of around £235m today).  At the same time as building the Forth Bridge, Arrol’s company also successfully re-built the Tay Bridge and constructed the steel frame of Tower Bridge in London.

If the bid is successful the famous railway bridge could be Scotland’s sixth World Heritage Site by 2015.
Work on the iconic bridge commenced in 1882 and was formally completed in 1890
Work on the iconic bridge commenced in 1882 and was formally completed in 1890


kevin toner
#1 Posted by kevin toner on 28 May 2012 at 18:22 PM
Why isn’t there already an inscription for this one wonders?

The icon is a perfect exemplar of why Scotland is synonymous with the word Engineering!

Those who’ve seen the film Copying Beethoven, will recall the fabulous scene where Harris (Beethoven) is proudly asked by Kruger (assistant Anna) if he’d go along to comment on her engineer boyfriend’s design entry for a bridge competition... Here, after his inspection of the shortlist, Harris completely obliterates a model which happens to be vying alongside a Forth Road bridge lookalike or twin I’d say as one of the contenders!

Enough said eh!

Here’s an observant extract of a review from the online San Francisco Chronicle:

“...His certainty in his instincts to be able to distinguish between true talent and the banal often leads to boorish behavior. Harris is quite amusing in a scene where Ludwig makes his feelings known about a model of a bridge designed by Anna's engineer boyfriend by smashing it before the judges of a competition have weighed in... “

Certainly hits the nail on the head with regard to ‘true talent Vs the banal’

The reviewer also happens to have an equally unacknowledged world wonder of a bridge in her city funnily enough! I wonder if she’d consciously known that Anna’s boyfriend was romantically up against the Baker/Fowler entry!

The reviewer however does later contend that it was jealousy instead. Beethoven (played by Harris) hadn’t really known though whose design he was supposed to be favouring during his scrutiny of the bridges, although he’d been funnily looking around at Anna I think to gauge her body language during the scene.

It wasn’t jealousy, simply a little more shortlisting to help the judges arrive at an informed choice.
kevin toner
#2 Posted by kevin toner on 28 May 2012 at 18:27 PM
sorry about the eggcorn, meant to say Forth Rail [not Road] Bridge.
kevin toner
#3 Posted by kevin toner on 28 May 2012 at 18:30 PM
2nd and final eggcorn, sorry: should be example [not exemplar]
kevin toner
#4 Posted by kevin toner on 28 May 2012 at 19:35 PM
I can't believe I seen that in the cinema with Diane Kruger distracting.

Perhaps good eyesight I suppose!

Here's a clip:
kevin toner
#5 Posted by kevin toner on 28 May 2012 at 20:48 PM
okay: he doesn't really gently/playfully scutinise the entries as I'd once thought/imagined, but he does indeed verbally express a discontent with the design of the bridge in front of him, while the next one along in his line of vision is the Forth Rail bridge lookalike (in concept model form).

AQ 1 (when asked to comment on the rival bridge):

“It has no soul, it lacks life, grace, passion. It’s a dead and worthless thing...

AQ 2 (when asked for justification): “You build bridges to connect points of land...”

We can therefore construe the script as an apt back-up reference to the Forth Rail model in the scene whether or not the screenwriter/director/props/etc. have done so unintentionally perchance, deliberately; or whether it has been god working in mysterious ways.

The FRB is certainly a bridge that connects points of sea, while far from celebrating its connection with land, ergo unlike the other entries in the fictional scene!

A Google Images Search says it all, where probably not more than 1-in-a-1000 photos of the bridge show its connection with the land.
kevin toner
#6 Posted by kevin toner on 28 May 2012 at 21:58 PM

"The bridge is, even today, regarded as an engineering marvel" Wikepedia

Calling all Engineers!

please feel free to verify the following additional comment, which I’d gleaned inter alia from hearing speakers at the ‘125 Years - Back to the Future’ event celebrating 125 years of ICE’s oldest branch outside London (the G&WoS branch) at the Mitchell Library :

that the bridge was deliberately vastly over designed structurally [perhaps because of the Tay Bridge Disaster] unbeknownst that the strength would in fact be adequate for the design loads determined for high speed train tracks, i.e. the strongest forces known to the engineer at present.

The bridge would therefore be more than merely an icon.

If this is true, then the FRB has a more secure future than I’d first thought.

Perhaps therefore we [with our conservationists’ hats on] needn’t panic if the nominators should fail in this particular WHS bid, which surely can’t happen (?)

Calling all Conservationists too then!
kevin toner
#7 Posted by kevin toner on 22 Jun 2012 at 08:42 AM
To think Britain has a C19th exemplar of a HSR ready bridge is rather sublime.

This bridge is nowhere near ready for any kind of museumification, which WHS status might imply (?)

Maybe the FRB will link up with the high speed network another day.

Here’s a couple of HSR bridge URLs showing modern day endeavours:
kevin toner
#8 Posted by kevin toner on 22 Jun 2012 at 14:57 PM
HSR link using FRB: Why Not?

Why should Edinburgh and/or Glasgow be the final destination/s in Britain’s high speed rail endeavours?

It would be nothing short of embarrassing, if not heavily myopic, to terminate a high speed rail network without utilising such a pre-built and HSR-ready bridge, which potentially connects the string of venerable cities that define the North East and Mid Scotland areas. These are yet relatively dislocated in European terms, but are calling not to be, of late, ergo proposals for the V&A; the Granite Web; etc.

One might say the bridge waits for Britain to catch up!

Calling all leaders!

Imagine how many £Billion would be saved by having the Forth Rail Bridge in the bag, not forgetting the economic regeneration it would support.
kevin toner
#9 Posted by kevin toner on 22 Jun 2012 at 17:31 PM
High Speed Rail (HSR) opportunities for Scotland:-

Calling at Glasgow: why not?

Calling at Edinburgh: why not?

Calling at - at least – Perth: why ask?

Why, because the Forth Rail Bridge is an HSR-ready structure that’s more than simply a ‘world wonder’ that would connect the once native part of Scotland with the rest of Britain and the world.

It could potentially terminate at the ‘Fair City’ Perth, dubbed Scotland’s first capital, as the anticipated central hub due to the inadequacies in both Glasgow and Edinburgh. The central hub idea was suggested earlier in the following article, here:

I think an intermediate hub nearer to the border would be unnecessary due to the lack of cities there. Perth would seem to be in stark contrast.

HSR was also discussed in January here on Urban Realm:

Perth regaining its city status in March 2012, was also discussed on this forum here:

Having a centralised hub at Perth, by utilising the Forth Rail Bridge, might be just the ticket for the former capital’s city status.
kevin toner
#10 Posted by kevin toner on 22 Jan 2013 at 15:35 PM
Back again on this thread!

As I travel into Edinburgh for some CPD etc. from leaving Glasgow Bus station, I got a boost to my idea, which links the above comments on HSR idea[l]s with these ones here.

AQ extracts from my various comments on the currently threatened international heritage of Preston Bus Station!

“...The bus station will be good for the county in the future should the government ever put roads on the map (on an even keel with rail), which may well happen yet, given the very steep upward graph of car ownership in the UK! The Preston bus station come car park would be a rather veritable UK Bus-Port given its centrality...” from ‘Is the impending demolition of Preston bus station justified?’ on 17 December 2012 10:13; &

“Architecturally, it's urbane on a world class level and even yet still plausible as a major transport hub: and comes surprisingly from an island town that dared to punch above its weight and eventually be recognised as a city in 2002...” from ’Save Preston bus station petition fails to attract signatures’ 17 December 2012 3:13 pm

So here goes.

Perth is not alone in this story, inter alia also becoming a city recently! Preston did likewise not more than a decade ago.

To my astonishment, Preston also seems that it can play a veritably strategic part in this bigger C21st idea - that industrial Britain owes herself really - being placed on the UK map accidentally, not to rival its neighbouring metropolis in respect of a noteworthy UK high speed rail (HSR) network, but to support it to exceptionally world class standards as follows. Yet like Edinburgh and Glasgow above, it is Birmingham in this case that’s being earmarked as an HSR node.

Preston is on the same line, after Birmingham, towards Scotland via the Forth Rail Bridge. Like Perth it would make better [C21st] sense to capitalise on building an HSR stop at Preston to help make sense of, not merely the heritage of the Forth Rail Bridge, but in this case one of the world’s most remarkable bus stations, now threatened with demolition for being too vast.

Perhaps it’s beyond Salmond, Cameron and Clegg to stop thinking C20th and recognise the Potential of our newest cities, which in this case are by chance there on a platter to help us into the future, i.e. for now, while precariously on the brink as unwanted heritage, or in being subject to the conventions of Disneyfication, museumification and/or as adaptable heritage rather than as continually operational heritage.

If Perth & Preston are recognised for the latter, then perhaps the neighbouring C19th/C20th metropolises could be freed from the veritable hindrances of the C21st infrastructure known as HSR.

S,C, & C forget HSR unless willing to think this urbanistically - and less historicist in the cult (or dilemma rather) of the post-industrial city....

Apologies, as unproofed and of course whimsical!

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