Nostalgia: Famous bridge world-ranking

A steam train travelling across the Forth Bridge
A steam train travelling across the Forth Bridge
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NOW more than 120 years old, its iconic status is indisputable. Indeed, it is described by the Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland as “the one immediately and internationally recognised Scottish landmark”.

And if that ever needed to be ratified, its pending confirmation as a World Heritage Site will do just that.

It was revealed this week that spectacular views of the Forth Bridge will be safeguarded by beefed-up planning guidelines if it secures the highly sought-after award.

The protection will prevent unsightly buildings from ruining the vista of the landmark, which opened on March 4, 1890.

Such is the global appeal of the bridge that the actor Kenneth More climbed aboard the construction as he filmed the 1959 version of The Thirty-Nine Steps in September of the year before. It took a train, a ferry, five lorries, 100 technicians and extras, 20 railway officials and a mobile canteen to make sure the scene was captured just right.

More, the hero of the movie, was filmed escaping from police and other enemies as he travelled across the bridge, with the action entailing him stopping a train, climbing on to the track, and going through an observation hatch to a platform beneath the railway line.

The bridge is a dominating sight in South Queensferry, the structure towering above cars queuing to board a ferry on the Firth of Forth in 1956, while it also makes its presence felt in any images of North Queensferry across the water.

Such is the scale of the Forth Bridge that maintenance is always ongoing in the spirit of the 4600 workers involved in its initial construction, pictured here in 1888, two years before the first trains travelled across it.