One of the world’s most famous names in bridge building has created a mini version of its latest internationally acclaimed project for the entrance display at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
A scale replica of Hong Kong’s Tsing Ma Bridge was built by the company’s young apprentices, who also gave an extensive facelift to a model of the historic Locomotion No 1 steam engine as their contribution to Darlington’s floral showcase.
Each garlanded with flowers, the models will be seen by the Queen as she enters the Chelsea showground. Together, they symbolise the town’s engineering heritage, from early days right up to the present.
Darlington was invited to create the main entrance displays after its success in last year’s Britain in Bloom competition, and Kvaerner Cleveland Bridge is sponsoring the show-stopping theme of industrial innovation and prowess.
The company name is synonymous with landmark bridges and other structures the world over, from the Thames Barrier to the Bosporus. It was a lead contractor in building the Tsing Ma Bridge, connecting Hong Kong and its new airport. The world’s longest single-span suspension bridge to carry both road and rail traffic, which has won a number of industry awards.
As a global leader in steel design, fabrication and construction, Cleveland Bridge is committed to a comprehensive apprenticeship training scheme. Three young engineers of tomorrow created the 4 metres long bridge replica using welding wires, steel plate and conduit, while another team of seven gave an extra touch of authenticity to the loco model, adding realistic-looking wheels, valve gear, push rods and other details, having studied the original replica on display in the local railway museum.
Alan Ellwood, their training manager, commented: "The lads worked against the clock to prepare the displays ready for the council to decorate with flowers. It involved a tremendous amount of engineering enterprise and we are proud their achievement will be seen by thousands of visitors to the show."