In pictures: Opening of the Forth Road Bridge in 1964

The Queen stands with Lord Provost Weatherstone at opening of the Forth Road Bridge on September 4, 1964. Picture: TSPL
The Queen stands with Lord Provost Weatherstone at opening of the Forth Road Bridge on September 4, 1964. Picture: TSPL
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The Queen will officially open the new Queensferry Crossing on September 4, 53 years to the day when she opened the neighbouring Forth Road Bridge.

Scotland is currently the only country in the world to have three major bridges built in three different centuries in one location, and in keeping with tradition, the sweeping cable-stayed bridge will be opened by royalty.

The Queen's cavalcade arrives at Fife end of Forth Road Bridge in 1964. Picture: TSPL

The Queen's cavalcade arrives at Fife end of Forth Road Bridge in 1964. Picture: TSPL

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

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.

At the time, it was Europe’s longest suspension bridge.

• READ MORE: Queensferry Crossing to be officially opened by The Queen

People and cars turned out en masse in South Queensferry to see the opening of the Forth Road Bridge. Picture: TSPL

People and cars turned out en masse in South Queensferry to see the opening of the Forth Road Bridge. Picture: TSPL

Spectators 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 as the Queen crossed the 3,300ft structure in her cavalcade.

Soldiers from Lowland regiments and a Highland brigade symbolically paraded from both sides of the bridge to meet each other in the middle to mark the opening of the new road crossing.

25 Royal Navy vessels fired a salute from the Forth while the RAF performed a fly-over once the Queen made a brief speech to officially open the bridge.

Following the ceremony, the Queen made her way across the Forth by ferry on the last trip made by the 800-year-old service. At its peak, the four ferry boats carried around 1.5 million people a year across the Firth on 40,000 trips.

Men at work during the construction of the Forth Road Bridge. 
Picture: Neil Hanna

Men at work during the construction of the Forth Road Bridge. Picture: Neil Hanna

By contrast, in its first year, the Forth Road Bridge carried 4 million vehicles.

The whole ceremony itself cost £25,000 at the time.