Friday, 17 June 2011

Hendon: A World First (NZ412568)


In case you can’t read the inscription, it says:-

The First Aluminium Alloy Bascule Bridge in the World.

Port of Sunderland.

From the water colour painting by Leslie Carr, published in “Light Metals,” December, 1948.

… A ‘bascule bridge’ being one that opens from the middle upwards, much like London’s Tower Bridge. Can’t say whether the aluminium version ever caught on, though, and I’d be interested to learn if anyone out there knows. The Hendon model certainly didn’t last long: opened in 1948, it was reported as being in a poor state by the 1970s – and I have been unable to discover when exactly it was dismantled and sold for scrap. If anyone has anything to add, please comment below.

In the meantime, there is an excellent article about the bridge about half way down the page, here, where one will find many more images and locational plans and maps.

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