Professor Charles McKean

Friends of Seafield House (FoSH) were saddened to hear of the death of architectural historian, Professor Charles McKean on 29th September 2013.

Charles McKean was a professor of Scottish Architectural History at the University of Dundee.  He was the author of many books, including “Battle for the North”, a study of the war between the two rival railway companies, the North British and the Caledonian, to offer the fastest route from London to Aberdeen and the north of Scotland. In this book Charles McKean, highlighted the vital role that William Arrol had played in ensuring the successful construction of both the new Tay Bridge and the Forth Railway Bridge. In addition to his teaching and research, Charles McKean took an active role in several organisations which supported the preservation of of Scottish architectural heritage and he had been very generous in offering advice to FoSH on the campaign to save Seafield House.

Read his obituary in The Herald.

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Forth Bridge Photographic Competition

The Forth Bridges Forum is looking for entries for their photo competition for the Forth Rail Bridge.   Sir William Arrol was the contractor for the bridge which was built between 1883 and 1889.   Photographs entered into the competition will help with the Management Plan that will form part of the Forth Bridge’s World Heritage Nomination to UNESCO.

There are two categories:

Best Contemporary Photograph, to find the best views of the Bridge

Best Historical Photograph, to showcase old family pictures of the Forth Bridge

The winners of the competitions will be able to claim  a VIP visit to the Forth Bridge. Winners will also receive a copy of the recently published book ‘Forth Bridge: Restoring an Icon’.

Further details and instructions to submit an entry can be found on the Forth Bridges Forum website.

Closing date for entries is 30 September 2013.

Forth Rail Bridge opened 123 years ago on 4 March 1890

Front cover of the Illustrated London News from 8 March 1890

Sir William Arrol assists the Prince of Wales to place the last rivet in the Forth Rail Bridge.

On the 4th March 1890 the Forth Rail Bridge was opened by the Prince of Wales.

A public holiday had been declared in the local towns and a mass of people gathered to watch the royal train arrive and cross the bridge.

The bridge was a feat of engineering, designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker, and built by Sir William Arrol. Over 4, 000 men were involved in it’s construction It took 54,000 tons of steel to build and at 2, 467 metres was the longest bridge  in the world when it was completed.

A wonder of it’s age, the Bridge remains today a landmark structure and icon of British engineering.  A nomination for it to be given World Heritage Status has been submitted to  the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and  the decision is expected in June 2015.