Thursday, 8 September 2016

Severn Bridge

This side Hafren it is a "Welsh landmark", but to the Bristol Evening Post it is an "icon of the West Country". I have linked to the Bristol journal's site because of its account of the history of the crossing backed up by archive photographs. The design was inspired by work in the United States but taken pioneering stages further - there is an outline here.

I was a clerical officer in Ministry of Transport HQ at the time of the opening. I remember what a big event it was, and how staff were encouraged to travel to Aust to be a part of it - but with no financial contribution from the Department, not a great example of man- (and woman-) management.

Talking of finance, I also recall how the tolls were not only expected to pay the construction cost but also build up a fund to pay for maintenance. The South Wales Evening Post is rightly cynical about the way things turned out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was also at the opening,but my journey was paid for, as I was one of the school kids shipped in to wave flags. In some ways the Bristol paper is right as the Severn Bridge connected Aust in Gloucestershire at the time to another part of Gloucestershire on the west bank of the Severn. Another bridge,the Wye Bridge connects the end of the Severn Bridge to Wales.