Forth Bridge marks 125 years

A replica spitfire flies past the ForthBridge as part of the 125th anniversary celebrations. Picture:Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
A replica spitfire flies past the ForthBridge as part of the 125th anniversary celebrations. Picture:Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
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The 125th anniversary of the opening of the Forth Bridge yesterday has been marked by a week of celebrations – including a spectacular flypast from a replica Spitfire and an RAF Typhoon.

More than £160,000 is expected to be raised for charity over the course of the week as almost 300 people scale the bridge and abseil off the approach span at Hawes Brae.

A further 250 people are set to take part in guided tours of the bridge’s steel towers in a bid to raise £40,000 for The Prince’s Trust.

The crossing – which boasts one of the world’s longest single cantilever bridge spans – was officially opened on March 4, 1890, and has cemented its place as one of Scotland’s most impressive architectural feats, drawing visitors from all over the country and beyond.

Yesterday afternoon’s fly-past saw a replica Spitfire owned by Perth-based pilot Iain Hutchison swoop over the bridge, while the Typhoon – normally based at RAF Lossiemouth – was piloted by Flight Lieutenant Ben Geal.

Constructed over eight years, the Forth Bridge was the world’s first major steel structure and spans 8296ft, reaching up to more than 100 metres at its highest level.

More than 4,600 workers – known as briggers, were employed to build the bridge – and 73 deaths have been recorded in connection with its construction. 
In 2005, the Forth Bridge Memorial Committee was set up to erect a monument to the briggers.

The bridge has become a symbol of Scotland and around 200 trains cross it every day.