Opening the Suspension Bridge

1952 Opening the Suspension Bridge at Blantyre

1952 Opening the Suspension Bridge at Blantyre

Pictured here in 1952, several gentlemen perform the opening ceremony of the David Livingstone Memorial Bridge near David Livingstone Centre. This photo captures the moment perfectly, although the bridge was not to last and has subsequently been replaced.

Gordon Cook gave me some excellent additional information about this photo, advising me, “The gentlemen in the picture are Tom Fraser M.P. (Hamilton) and James Timmons M.P. (Bothwell), with James Anderson J.P., Chairman of the Fifth District Council, and the man cutting the ribbon was Mr John Mann C.B.E., who was the Convenor of Lanark County Council. It all took place on Saturday 4th October 1952 at the Blantyre end of the bridge. It was predicted that the cost would be around £12,000 but it ended up nearer £20,000. The surveyor was Colonel T. U. Wilson C.B.E., who was the then County Surveyor, and the engineers were A. McCracken & Co. Ltd., of Larkhall, working with Messrs Bone, Connel and Baxter, Steel Erectors of Wishaw.

 On cutting the ribbon Mr Mann said, “It is with the greatest pleasure that I now declare this, the David Livingstone Bridge, duly opened.”
Rev. James I. McNair, who was Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Livingstone Trust, dedicated the bridge, and these aforementioned men were then the first to cross, as they made their way to Bothwell for a celebratory tea in the Clyde Hotel, where many speeches were heard.
The bridge was designed in the same principal as the Forth Bridge, in that it was a double cantilever with a suspended span. It was 460 feet long, with a 6 foot wide walkway, it was 55 feet above the water, and the structure rose a further 20 feet higher. 105 tons of steel were used in total for the build.”

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