Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Swinging Runcorn

On the banks of the Mersey, over on Cheshire side,
Lies Runcorn, that's best known to fame
By Transporter Bridge as tak's folks over its stream,
Or else brings 'em back across same.
(Marriott Edgar)

The Runcorn Transporter Bridge was one of three such bridges built in Britain: the others were at Newport and Middlesbrough (the latter is still in use). Runcorn, though, was the first, and was the longest transporter bridge ever built.



When I was small my father was a commercial traveller (selling Ovaltine and associated products from A Wander Ltd), and sometimes I got to go with him on his calls. One such day I remember well involved a (return) trip over the Runcorn bridge. I think it must have been in 1960 or 1961 because I remember seeing the new bridge which looked complete. Going on the transporter was a real thrill: and why not? It would be a thrill today. I remember while we were in transit - actually we probably hadn't started moving, but we were loaded up - a ship did indeed pass on the Mersey. It was called the MV Baskerville, and provided a great illustration of why the bridge was built the way it was. I remember being fascinated by the barriers which stopped people falling in when the bridge wasn't there, and in particular by the piston affairs which lowered them as the bridge drew into its dock.



A fantastic experience, though at the time I didn't realise that the bridge would be demolished in a year or two. (Probably neither did my Dad.)

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