Drawbridge near Ossenmarkt, Weesp.

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (6)

Jim Evans (AXOTA) on April 20, 2008

Greetings Claus, These Draw-Bridges fascinate me. One can never tell their age or the material from which they are constructed. They are a simple, but effective machine many of which seem to be manualy powered. Here in my home town, we have an Iron Swing Bridge which is almost 100 years old. It often breaks down, its electric motors and hydraulics systems are worn out.

I have seen an old oil-painting of Whitby (circa early 19th century) which depicts a Draw-Bridge just like this one.

Cheers Claus.


c.s. on April 20, 2008

Hello Jim, yes, these nineteenth century drawbridges are very picturesque. This double drawbridge is electrically powered, but there are also drawbridges raised and lowered by hand, especially in the back-country. The photo was taken in January as is easily to be noticed (I have got a comment of someone on another picture of mine in which he writes: nice pic, but for the date stamp), and there is no boat to be seen. However, during the season it is very busy here with pleasure-boats and sailing yachts, and then this bridge is raised every hour to let them pass.

The construction materials used here are wood and steel. Drawbridges, not the same as this one, but in any case bridges based on the principle of balance and counterweight, are still constructed nowadays, besides other types, but it is all steel now. The more I am talking about this subject, the more enthousiast I become. Vertical lift-bridge (I remember a schoolfriend who had constructed a Meccano version), bascule- and swing-bridge, they are a good subject for the photographer. It's a pity this photo is somewhat dark, it is hard to see the details. I have no program like Photoshop installed on the computer, that could cheer it up. The pocket camera has to do the job, and he is trying hard, but with these bright white clouds it's a tough task.

You mentioned an early nineteenth century drawbridge in Whitby, are there still drawbridges to be seen in U.K.? I mean the classic type, not their modern counterparts. And let the people in Whitby be careful with the Swing Bridge.

Greetings, Claus

Jim Evans (AXOTA) on April 20, 2008

Greetings Claus and thanks for your feedback. Yes, you are right. Bridges make a good subject and I think, they represent the leading edge of design technology and manufacturing processes. If one considers the large number of iternational iconic structures, then bridges must top the list. You mentioned Vertical Lift types, [I have found a photo] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Teesnewportbridge.jpg) of such a bridge some 40km from here on the river Tees at Newport. Large vessels no longer navigate this stretch of the river, so it was decided some years ago to de-commision the bridge. Massive girders were fitted to take the weight of the span. This permitted the main lift cables to be removed so no vertical lift can take place. What a shame !!

I suspect that Draw Bridges do exsist in the counties of Linconshire, Norfolk and possibly Suffolk. The Flanders influence was very strong in this region of UK. I believe that Dutch Engineers were responsible for the massive project that involved draining the Fens around the area known as the Wash--East Anglia.

Your comment regarding Photoshop---- I derive much pleasure from tweeking my photos using the above program. My computer skills are poor Claus but I do find Photoshop a great deal of fun. Have you tried looking for a free download?? I use version 2 and it is more than adequate for my needs.

I shall persue, further, the research into bridges. I think it is an interesting subject.



c.s. on April 22, 2008

Hello Jim, what a beauty, the Newport Bridge! Exactly the kind of bridge that you would like to construct in meccano. It's also of the same green colour as the meccano parts. What a pity the span cannot move any more, how nice it would have been if it could have shown a vertical lift, even if only once a year. That would have attracted a lot of people, and not only bridge fanatics. I was surprised to see that there is only one blue dot near the Newport Bridge on Google Earth, it's neglected by photographers. There's a job for you, Jim.

But there is more to enjoy in Middlesbrough, you know what I mean: the Transporter Bridge. Very special, never seen before, this kind of bridge has not been built in Holland. Another meccano construction!

Last but not least: the Tees Footbridge, elegant, simple and pleasing to the eye.

Well, I have also done some homework concerning vertical lift bridges here, and I've found a few examples: Koningshavenbrug. The middle part of this bridge originally was of the swing type, but after a collision it was changed into a vertical lift: more room for boats to pass. This Koningshaven bridge was an important link in the railway system, but is de-commissioned since 1994 or so. Since then it is a monument, and as far as I know the machinery is still in working order. In the background you can see the Erasmus Bridge, a.k.a. the Swan.

Another example: Gouda. This is a modern one, not bad architecture, but I prefer steel. Also a railway bridge, spanning the Gouwe river near Gouda (famous for it's cheese). Well Jim, so far, I hope the links are working, first time I'm experimenting with links in Panoramio.

Greetings, Claus

P.S. Can we expect your blue dot near Newport soon?

Jim Evans (AXOTA) on April 27, 2008

Greetings Claus and thankyou so much for the information and excellent links. The Koningshavenbrug bridge is quite sensational and puts the modern Gouda bridge in the shade.

My late father was a bridge builder, spending all his working life for a company called Dorman & Long--Middlesbrough. He was associated with manufacturing of component parts for the Tyne Bridge--Newcastle. the Sidney Harbour Bridge-- the Istanbul linkspan over the Bosphorous, and many other iconic structures around the world.

This company ceased to exsist around 1980 or so.

Thanks for the idea of the blue dot Claus. It will happen.



c.s. on May 2, 2008

Hello Jim and Paul, in Wikipedia I found that also the Newport Bridge in Middlesbrough was built by Dorman & Long, however, the Transporter Bridge was constructed by Cleveland Co, in 1911 already. Dorman & Long and Cleveland Co, the former arch rivals, merged in about 1990. The company still exists under the name Cleveland Co, with a branch Dorman Long Technology Ltd. Are you still there? Ok, we go on. Paul, about Coles Cranes, what I read about them is the same story that applies for many other companies, also in my country. Not so long ago the top in their range of products, but in the seventies and eighties they went down. Of course there were many reasons for their downfall, but one of the most important was mismanagement (what else?).

When I was a boy, I got a Coles crane truck as birthday present. You will understand it was the Dinky Toys version. Internet taught me it was a lorry mounted lattice crane, Anneas type. There were cars in my Dinky collection of brands now no more existing: Bedford (this one a dust lorry), Hillman, Packard and Studebaker. By the way, my favorite was a Chevrolet Impala, but this model was the modern type supplied with springs, windows and interior. Besides that, Chevrolet: it's a big deal, up to now. Another model in my collection was your Austin Mini, and the Mini also is still alive and kicking and a big deal. Alas, that is something I cannot say of my Dinky Toys collection, which is no more existing. A serious case of mismanagement.

Greetings, Claus

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 22, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by c.s.
    • Taken on 2008/01/22 15:23:57
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 7.70mm
    • F/Stop: f/7.100
    • ISO Speed: ISO50
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash