Tam's Tall Tales

- Forth Rail Bridge - 125 Years On

Celebration Marking 125th Anniversary of Opening of Forth Rail Bridge
March saw the celebration of 125 years since the opening of the wonderful Forth Rail Bridge.

The iconic structure, which first opened to the public on March 4 1890, spans the Firth of Forth from nine miles west of Edinburgh city centre to North Queensferry in Fife.

The event was marked by a fly-past of Spitfire and a Eurofighter Typhoon (pictured here), which is a modern fast jet used by the RAF. The Spitfire was a reference to the response to the Luftwaffe attack on 16 October 1939, just six weeks into the Second World War.

The raid was the German Luftwaffe's first attack on Britain and the first time the RAF's Spitfire engaged the enemy. While the objective of the attackers was the naval vessels operating from nearby Rosyth, the dogfight took place above the bridge.

The event included an eye-witness account of the raid from Ed Thomson, who as a schoolboy witnessed the air battle from a train stalled on the bridge.

Keith Brown, a minister in the Scottish Government said: : "Even after 125 years, the Forth Bridge is a working bridge, playing a vital role in Scotland's transport infrastructure.

"But, of course, it represents so much more than that alone. It is a true icon of Scotland, recognised the world over. It represents a revolutionary feat of Victorian engineering and its unmistakable red girders have been synonymous with Scotland and part of our collective imagination for 125 years.

The bridge has been nominated to UNESCO as a "World Heritage Site". A decision on this is expected later this year.

Some video footage of the Spitfire and Typhoon fighter jet flying over the bridge can be seen at the Edinburgh Evening News Web site.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
March 2015

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