Humberside

Humber Bridge engineers celebrate Grade I listing status

Engineers visiting the bridge
Image caption The former engineers were given a guided tour of the Humber Bridge

A group of engineers who built the Humber Bridge have returned to celebrate the crossing's Grade I listing.

More than 20 people who worked on the bridge in the 1970s were given a special tour of the towers and other parts of the structure.

Historic England listed the bridge in July on the 36th anniversary of its opening.

Work started on the 1,410 metre-long (4,600ft) bridge in 1973.

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Image copyright Geograph / Stephen McKay
Image caption It took eight years to build the bridge

After its opening in 1981 it was the world's longest single-span suspension bridge, a position it held for 16 years. It still ranks in the top 10.

Image copyright Geograph / Dylan Moore
Image caption Despite losing its top spot the bridge is still one the 10 longest bridges in the world

Ian Bolton worked on the bridge during the end of its eight year construction as a cable spinner. He helped move more than 70,000 km of wires that support the road deck back and forth between the two towers.

He described the weather as being "the biggest challenge".

Image copyright Geograph / John Carter
Image caption Work started on the south tower in 1973

"It's a windy place," he said.

"And when you've got moving equipment laying down these small wires and adjusting them to position and that sort of stuff it's quite a challenge."

Image copyright Gary Pidd
Image caption Each of the towers stand 155m above the water of the Humber Estuary

Nigel Baltrop worked for the bridge designers checking on the work of the contractors.

He said that as part of his job he would sometimes be right at the top of the towers.

Image copyright Gary Pidd
Image caption More than 70,000 km of wire holds up the bridge deck

"Occasionally I would be doing that with a 155m drop below me," said Mr Baltrop.

"I would actually have a rope and I'd have somebody who was looking after that as if it was a rock climbing exercise.

"But there would be men working next to me who would be standing on the same beam without any protection."

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