Clicking on many of the pictures enlarges them and provides extra information. The models are usually attributed to the builder.

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The Meccano Bridge built for BBC series

“ Toy Stories  “

featuring James May

Pictures taken during its erection believed to have been taken by the NWMG Chairman.

The bridge was designed by Architecture students (with a bit of help from Ove Arup Consulting Engineers).

It was chosen from a number of other designs as the one producing the most exciting construction. Although a movable bridge was not specified, the students elected to design one. The final design was a combination of two common types of movable bridge - a bascule (or see-saw) bridge and a swing bridge.  The complicated design meant that it was difficult to get the bridge finished on time.

Instead of walking straight across, it was decided that, after stepping onto the end of the rotating half, it would be swung round with James still on the outer end.

The bridge was completed  in a laboratory in Liverpool University but some sub-assemblies were built by Meccano enthusiasts off-site. Liverpool University students and staff did most of the work. Most of the  parts were provided by the Meccano factory in Calais, some having to be specially made.

The NWMG Chairman suggested a rolling bascule instead of a pivoted one to overcome the problem of making a strong enough pivot out of standard Meccano. Here it is being delivered, ready for lifting into place. Note the large black balance weight.

The Bascule being lowered into position.

The bascule has been  put in position and James has climbed onto it.

The Half of the Bridge which was built as a swinging one being lowered into position. It rotated on ball bearings held in Flanged Plates (part 52). It also has a large, non Meccano, balance weight.

James on his way across the bridge.

James nearing the end of the bascule while the rotating half of the bridge swings into position. The long drop into shallow water meant that a safety line was needed.

James is being swung round on the rotating half of the bridge. The bascule has lifted up a bit now that James's weight has been taken off.

The bridge has now been swung round and James is now about to step off.