Queensferry Crossing launch to be a 127-year family affair

Cameron Alexander with an invitation and pass to the opening of the Queensferry Crossing next Saturday. Picture: Alistair Linford
Cameron Alexander with an invitation and pass to the opening of the Queensferry Crossing next Saturday. Picture: Alistair Linford
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When Cameron Alexander steps onto the Queensferry Crossing next weekend he will complete a family journey that has spanned 127 years and all three bridges across the Forth.

The former teacher, 67, was among a group of schoolchildren invited to see the Queen open the Forth Road Bridge in September 1964 alongside great aunt Margaret Reid.

Margaret Reid (formerly Kidd) as a 96-year-old and Mr Alexanders' great aunt on the left with her sister Helen Wallace.

Margaret Reid (formerly Kidd) as a 96-year-old and Mr Alexanders' great aunt on the left with her sister Helen Wallace.

And 74 years earlier, Ms Reid had attended the opening of the Forth Bridge in 1890.

Mr Alexander, from Newhaven, is now set to complete the journey by becoming one of the first to walk the 1.7-mile distance over the new crossing before it officially opens.

Mr Alexander shared his memories of the opening of the Forth Road Bridge and revealed he was looking forward to walking the new crossing.

He said: “I was delighted about getting the day off school to go along, but I think I was disappointed in the ceremony in the end. I would have been 14 at the time so I probably wasn’t old enough to appreciate it. We were down below looking up at the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on this raised platform, but I don’t think I was concentrating on what they said.

“They had handed us all flags before it and I remember the sight of all the kids waving them at the same time being pretty spectacular, but the weather on the day was poor.

“There was a lot of fog around and it made any view out over the Forth impossible.

“It never really struck a chord with me at the time that my great aunt had been at both, but I suppose I’m continuing that now.”

He added: “My dad knew one of the engineers, Mr Pottle, who showed us round the construction site before the bridge was finished.

“I think my brother was a lot more interested in that side of things than I was, he actually ended up becoming an engineer for one of the companies responsible for the steel cables - British Insulated Callender’s Cables (BICC).”

The crossing will officially be opened by The Queen exactly 53 years to the day since the Road Bridge was opened, although it was a very different monarch who cut the ribbon on the rail bridge, with Edward VII doing the honours.