Britannia Bridge, Menai, July 1970
The Pont Britannia (Britannia Bridge) over the Menai Strait was designed by Robert Stephenson and opened in March 1850. The main spans were of wrought-iron rectangular tubes, one for each track. These tubes were burnt beyond repair in May 1970 after boys looking for bats in the tubes dropped burning paper torches, setting fire to the tar-soaked wooden roof linings, thus closing the railway. A new design for arched spans was drawn up and the renewed bridge was re-opened in January 1972, though only as a single track railway. This view, taken in July 1970, shows demolition work of the tubes going on, watched by two of the four lions guarding the bridge, another two on the far Ynys Mon (Anglesey) side. A new higher level roadway was added above the rail tracks in 1980 and it is now difficult to see the lions. Slide No. 5312.