Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge turns 150
Posted on 13th November 2014 at 20:38
...and boy, will there be a party.
Bristolians are very proud of their heritage; the patchwork houses in Totterdown, glorious cathedral in the centre, the harbourside, and of course, the legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. In 1843 - the year of its completion - the SS Great Britain was the largest ship in the world, and the first ever propeller-driven, ocean-going ship. She now sits regally in the Bristol Harbourside, accessorised to the hilt with a miscellany of bunting, fairy lights and streamers adorning her wide girth.
Of course, even our beloved SS Great Bristain must curtsey in awe of Bristol's undisputed icon.
Brunel never lived to see his greatest masterpiece created, but if he's been watching in recent months he will have wept with pleasure at the magnificent display Mother Nature bestowed upon her this September (pictured above). The streets may have been awash with flash floods and Bristolians lifting their filthy petticoats to reveal sodden clogs, but had they lifted their vision from the mess that ensued, they will have basked in the glory of the Suspension Bridge in her finest hour yet.
But now, on 7th December, the eve of the 150th birthday of the Suspension Bridge - completed in 1864 - Bristol will attempt to rival the natural fireworks rendered upon the old bridge. If you are rounding Cumberland basin from the airport, do not be alarmed. No water pistols please, no matter how concerned you are that the Bridge is fast becoming ashes. This is a deliberate illusion. A waterfall of fire will flow from the bridge to the river below, whilst lavishly designed explosions of colour detonate above.
If you happen to be in Bristol on the 7th, find a good space by the Avon Gorge hotel, or on the Downs, or even in the basin, and let the colours, lights and explosions and music enthrall your senses whilst you sip a well deserved hot chocolate or mulled wine.
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