Step back in time with fascinating old images of Keadby Bridge, Lincolnshire, England.
Keadby Bridge in 1933
The 3,500 ton structure of Keadby Bridge could be raised in 40 seconds, supporting access for road, rail and river.
Only one man was needed to control the bridge, even though the compensating ballast tanks alone weighed 2,000 tons.
So in 1933 the engineering feat was caught on silent, black and white film, along with images of the operator in the control tower.
It ends with a beautiful shot of a steam train coming across the bridge.
A Novel Bridge In Lincolnshire (1933) – British Pathé (YouTube)
A bit of Keadby Bridge history
Extract from: The Builder – Volume 21
Published in 1863
THE OUSE – An Act for the erection of a bridge across the Ouse in connexion with the North Eastern Railway ( Hull and Doncaster Branch ), has just passed a committee of the House of Commons. The bridge is to be made with openings of 120 feet span, whilst the Keadby Bridge openings are only 60 feet. One of the vessels sunk by a collision with the Keadby bridge is embedded in the Trent, at the foot of the bridge, and some of the piles are being driven right through it.
Extract from: Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Volume 57
Published in 1879
Pages 26 & 27
Powerful cams are sometimes used to push the ends into their proper position; but it is better that the rails themselves should be capable of some motion, so as to be adjustable. This is done in the Keadby bridge in England, and is accomplished in a complete manner by Messrs. Clarke, Reeves, and Co., by means of a link connection attached to the bars of the lifting apparatus, which raises the rails on the bridge, and allows them to drop into the same channel chair that contains the adjoining rails, the rails on the bridge slightly projecting over the line of junction of the bridge and fixed works. Screws acting directly downwards under the ends of the girders are used for setting up the Rochester swing bridge and the Lough Athalia swing bridge, the latter being under the Author’s charge. It is not a good arrangement, especially for railway traffic; the screws soon get cut and cease to act, under the continual jerking of the traffic.
Extract from: Parliamentary Papers 1850-1908 · Volume 14, by Great Britain, Parliament, House of Commons
Published in 1884
Keadby Bridge ( River Trent ). Comment upon the effect of Keadby Swing Bridge upon the traffic of the Trent, Baker 1506-1509 Illustration in the case of Keadby Bridge of the obstruction which may be caused to traffic by an opening bridge; Gainsborough is, in fact, no longer a port, Law 1744. 1822-1824.