A film taken by a war hero motorist as he sailed on the last ever Fifie ferry crossing on the Tay will feature as part of the Tay Road Bridge 50th anniversary commemorations on Sunday.
The cine film – since transferred to DVD by his family – was taken by Dundee man Brodie Low within hours of the Tay Road Bridge opening on August 18 1966.
Coincidentally, Brodie’s nephew Graeme Bruce now runs the Dundee office of Fairhurst – the civil engineering firm which successfully put forward proposals for the design of the Tay Road Bridge in the early 1960s.
Graeme has now loaned a copy of the DVD, and the ‘blue book’ which contained William Fairhurst’s original bridge design – to the Tay Road Bridge management team’s commemoration exhibition.
“The film has been passed to me by my cousin Liz Stanford, “ Graeme told The Courier.
“Elizabeth is the daughter of Kay and Brodie Low. Brodie Low, who died a few years ago, was my uncle. He had a great interest in the bridge and was a great car driver.
“He drove firstly across the bridge on the day it opened with his wife and their eldest daughter Elizabeth. They then took the last Fifie back. He was driving his Citroen DS which he was very proud of.
“Liz found the cine film a few years ago and put it on to DVD.”
Brodie, who fought with the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry during the Second World War, received a medal for his bravery with the tank regiment, presented it by Field Marshall Montgomery himself.
Brodie went on to work for the British Linen Bank and Bank of Scotland in Dundee. He married Kay who worked in a separate branch.
Graeme, a Dundee-born Dundee University civil and structural engineering graduate with 30 years’ experience in the industry, explained that he had known Tay Road Bridge manager Alan Hutchison for many years having worked together. He was pleased to hand over various memorabilia for the exhibition which runs at Dundee’s Slessor Gardens on Sunday before touring north Fife.
Graeme said it was a “quirk of fate” that he now worked for the same company that designed the bridge, as had Alan, the bridge manager and former Dundee City Council engineer, a number of years ago.
“Brodie Low typified the interest in the bridge from Dundee folk of the time,” added Graeme.
“They had talked about a bridge for something like 100 years. It was a huge deal when it was finally agreed.”
Graeme explained that up until the building of the Tay Road Bridge, Fairhurst was known as F&A Macdonald and Partners, with William Fairhurst an engineer in the firm.
It was as a result of winning the contract for the Tay Road Bridge that the name was changed to Fairhurst.
Today the firm, with its head office in Glasgow, employs 550 engineers across the UK including a team of 26 in Dundee.
The firm has recently worked on high profile projects including the A9, M74 and A1.