James May’s Bridge

This is my attempt to recreate the bridge that James May walked over in the 2009 BBC TV programme James May’s Toy Stories.

A version was built by Chris Shute and featured on Spanner. Having looked at his design, I then tried to forget what it looked like so as to come up with my own design. I do remember that he used braced girders, so there is a similarity there. I can’t remember the other details of his model, other than it was powered. My model is hand operated, but I might try to add motors to it later.

The main girder sections are made from angle girders with flat girders top and bottom to form a box girder. Red double-braced girders are used for the bascule section while green open-ended braced girders are used for the swing section. This is due to shortage of red parts. I could have done the whole thing in yellow, but would have had to double them up to give the double-braced effect.

The bridge main section is 1:12 scale, the original being 24½” deep by 14” wide. The length of the original bridge was 23 metres (75’) so my model should be 6’3” long, but it is actually about 31” long.

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