|BC434F||A to Z of Britain (Part One) - Forth Railway Bridge Full Set Cover||£50.00||Sold Out|
Issue Date: 13/10/2011
Issue Name: A to Z of Britain (Part One) - Forth Railway Bridge Full Set Cover
Producer: Buckingham Covers
In a 26-stamp issue, Royal Mail takes a tour around Great Britain in alphabetical order, highlighting iconic landmarks which have had an essential presence in the nation's fabric. The first of this two-part issue looks at letters A through L. This cover features all 12 stamps from the A to Z of Britain issue, along with a Firth of Forth, Edinburgh postmark.
The Forth Railway Bridge
The Forth Railway Bridge is a remarkable cantilever bridge with the second longest span of any bridge of its type, and is not only a marvel of engineering but also one of the most recognised landmarks of Scotland. The wide expanse of the river it sits above had always been important to ttrade ad crossing could be difficult at times. With increasing numbers in both passenger and freight traffic Parliament realised that a more permanent and safer route was necessary.
Several suggestions had been put forwward and Thomas Bouch's design for the Tay & Forth Bridge were approced. The Tay Bridge had been under construction with work on the Forth delayed fiv years, but this was halted after a collapse of the Tay bridge in a storm resulting in the death of 75 people.
In 1882 The Forth Railway Bridge Company was formed to construct and operate the new bridge. The design they chose to use was Benjamin Baker and John Fowler's rather radical cantilever structure. Parliamentary consent was given in July and the contract was awarded to William Arrol on 21 December.
Work began on the bridge in 1883 and by 1887 the three main cantilevers were complete and in place with the final operation of placing the joining girder booms being reliant on the climate. Less than eight years since it started, the bridge was completed and officially opened on 4th March, 1890 by HRH Edward Prince of Wales, who placed the final "golden rivet."
The bridge is now Scotland's larges listed building and continues to carry some 150 trains a day. An extensive five year refurbishment was undertaken and the turn of the millenium including updated floodlighting, steelwork repairs and surface coating including a new paint system being applied that should last for up to 20 years! It was once said that as soon as the painting team had finished painting the bridge, it was time to start again at the beginning.
Want to see our all the covers in our 4th Series? View them all here