Port Meadow Bailey Bridge Constructed in Two Hours

Port Meadow Bridge

Did you know that the bridge over the River Thames was built in less than two hours? Oh but it’s true. In 1947, crowds of people rallied to Oxford to witness 50 Royal Engineers begin constructing the Port Meadow Bailey Bridge.

Councillor E. A. Smewin and thousands of others stood on the banks of Medley to watch the soldiers in action. Others used houseboats and punts as vantage points.

The then newly constructed bridge 60 foot was built to replace a footbridge made of wood that was swept away from a flood six months prior.

Due to precise planning the construction began at 245p and was completed by 430p. Each member of the team knew their role and they worked together skillfully.

It was said that the bridge would remain a strong structure for years to come–and it has been so. It is still being used today as part of the Thames Path.


Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE