Nostalgia: Opening of the Forth Road Bridge

Crowds flock to South Queensferry for the bridge's opening in 1964, following the massive construction process, below

Crowds flock to South Queensferry for the bridge's opening in 1964, following the massive construction process, below

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THEY packed themselves on to the pavements, wedged their cars in every available space, and marvelled at the wonder of the newly completed Forth Road Bridge.

Many had watched its construction closely over the previous months, noting every progression with huge enthusiasm. Others merely arrived in Queensferry that day to be part of the historic event – to soak in the fascination of the engineering feat for themselves.

Tonight, huge crowds will once again descend on the area as the bridge celebrates its 50th anniversary. Organisers behind this month’s Forth Bridges Festival will host a Bridge Party, concluding with what is expected to be a spectacular torchlight procession and fireworks display. These pictures will likely fascinate not only construction enthusiasts but anyone who has ever driven – or walked – over the impressive structure which connects the Lothians and Fife.

Health and safety fanatics will, on the other hand, no doubt cringe at the seemingly reckless nature of the workers involved in the project, perched somewhat precariously on the dominating crossing under construction.

Thousands of people welcomed the Queen to Scotland in September 1964 when she arrived to officially open the bridge, including North Queensferry youngsters who had a great view of the VIP stand.

The bridge spans 1.6 miles in length, was the fourth longest in the world and the longest outside the United States when it opened, and a staggering 39,000 tonnes of steel was used in its construction.