Spectacular fireworks display celebrates 150th anniversary of Clifton Suspension Bridge

December 8, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

Thousands of spectators lined the streets for a spectacular fireworks display to celebrate the 150th anniversary of one of Britain’s most iconic bridges.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge, which has stood proudly above the Bristol skyline since 1864, was lit up in dramatic fashion on Sunday evening.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s masterpiece burst into life as a firework ‘waterfall’ cascaded down towards the River Avon below while explosions filled the sky above.

The incredible fireworks display at Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, marking the 150 years of its opening

The incredible fireworks display at Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, marking the 150 years of its opening

The honour of pushing the plunger which started the display went to Harry Bessant, who was born on the bridge eight years ago.

His mum Emily was being rushed to hospital by husband Andrew when the baby decided to make an early appearance and they stopped their car on the famous bridge.

Harry, of Portishead near Bristol, was given the middle name Brunel in honour of his unusual arrival.

Mum Emily, 35, said: “Tonight has been a time to reflect on the part the bridge had played in our family. It has actually been very emotional.

“It always comes up in conversation, and Harry knew from a young age that he was born there. He views it as ‘his’ bridge and it’s become part of his life.”

A minute’s silence was held before the display in memory of Charlotte Bevan, who is believed to have jumped to her death with baby Zaani Tiana near the bridge last week.

Bristol’s Lord Mayor Alistair Watson paid tribute to the many people who have cared for the structure for the last 150 years.

He said said: “The bridge represents Bristol’s great strength and inventiveness.

“Remarkably, it still has 98 per cent of its original ironwork, and it is seen as an emblem of Victorian engineering.”

The iron bridge has stood above the Avon Gorge in the city since 1864 and was hailed as a great feat of engineering at the time.

Construction began in 1831 but was thrown into doubt when riots erupted across the city.

Work began again in 1836 but Brunel died in 1859, five years before completion.

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