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General - Bothy's on the Firth-of-Forth Railway Bridge

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by green godess, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. green godess

    green godess 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    May 13, 2011
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    Hi folks,

    I'm sure many of you railway and high structure enthusiasts north of the border, will know there are three quite substantial 'Bothy's' each built on the eastern side of the three diamonds. They were built not so terribly long after the bridge was opened. There purpose was to serve many primary tasks.

    Firstly, to house and accommodate the painting teams that perpetually brushed from north to south, also to guard the bridge at night, whereby watchmen were deployed to stop sailors from the Faslane Naval Base taking a short cut home, after missing their last trains from Edinburgh after a heavy night's drinking and entertainment.

    However, in both World Wars the three Bothy's were constantly manned with trained watch-keeper's to look for enemy aircraft; the Forth Bridge being a prize target most definitely on the prize hit-list of the Luftwaffe.

    All three are of the same design and are below the level of rail across the bridge. Whilst I have never visited any of them, I believe they are/were all equipped with good facilities - bunk beds, cooking facilities from propane gas stoves, fridges and running water.

    I believe the children's programme 'Blue Peter' once covered a visit into one of them and there was also a destructive fire in one of the three structures.

    Can anyone add to what I've described, or better still provide photos or an account of a visit?

    All of the three bothy's would have served a welcome retreat for personnel working on the bridge, especially in the biting cold and icy north east winds, blowing across the bridge at that height.

    Best regards from


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  2. Cuuvin

    Cuuvin 28DL Colonial Member
    28DL Full Member

    Aug 26, 2009
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    Here's a couple of interior shots I found on the web ...
    132849.jpg by Lynn Patrick, 1997

    132850.jpg by Lynn Patrick, 1997
    From http://www.ssplprints.com/image/132849/patrick-lynn-bothy-interior-at-the-forth-bridge-1997
    : "Railway workers inside their canteen or 'bothy' on the Forth Bridge, Fife, by Lynn Patrick, 1997. The Forth Bridge requires continuous maintenance and is covered by 10,000 gallons of paint."

    also on the site , they have a more pictures pertaining to the bridge (construction, documents, present day, etc ...) :D

    View of a bothy, from a bothy, on the Forth Bridge. 1990
    The bothy in view is near the dead centre of the Bridge, the solid girder work cross-member slightly nearer the camera to the one on which the bothy sits is connected to the vertical bracing on each side of the absolute centre of the Inchgarvie tower and seen between the darker, tubular, angled girders. This tower is wider than the ones on either side and is the only one with the central, vertical bracing feature.
    th?id=HN.608044237082463402&pid=1.jpg James@flickr.com
    and another ...

    "Perched Bothy
    Posted by Katherine (Bristol, United Kingdom) on 25 April 2010 in Architecture.
    Still at the Forth Bridges viewpoint! This is actually a pretty vicious crop which I noticed while viewing the original image at 100%. This is much more interesting!"

    none of these pictures are mine, they are owned by party in links provided.
    #2 Cuuvin, Dec 3, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  3. Brick_Man

    Brick_Man 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Apr 30, 2007
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    The heaters are always on! Kettle/cupasoup facilities in at least two of them available. Bit noisy though, unless you were wrecked doubt you would get any sleep
  4. Saul

    Saul Basterd
    Regular User

    Dec 26, 2011
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    Home Page:
    Do you mean HMNB Roysth?
  5. Spam

    Spam 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Jul 26, 2009
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    Climbed the bridge twice, both times the southern most bothy was in use. We sneakily went right up to one of the windows to see what it was used for as I had always wondered. Nothing special, the spiral staircases in each of the stone tower supports is far more worth a look (if you don't mind pigeons).
  6. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
    Regular User

    Nov 15, 2005
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    Was gonna say its not a very short cut to Faslane
  7. jimfoz

    jimfoz 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Sep 5, 2008
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    I remember seeing a programme on this - I think the screen shots are from it. They basically spent their working lives painting the bridge. One of the guys I recognised as being an actor from Scotts porridge oats advert being shown at the time - his career painting the bridge is mentioned

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