What's Happening in Galashiels blog

Blue Peter badge for bridge

The Forth Rail Bridge in Fife will be the first man made structure to receive a gold Blue Peter badge.

It is the first structure to be given the honour in the history of the famous BBC programme.

Less than 1,000 gold badges have been awarded to extraordinary people including Queen Elizabeth II and David Beckham.

Tim Levell, programme editor at Blue Peter, said: “Legend says that when the Prince of Wales opened the bridge in 1890 he placed a ceremonial golden rivet on the bridge. However, this has never been found. So we thought it would be a fitting tribute to present the bridge with its own gold badge.

“The Forth Bridge is a truly outstanding piece of engineering and the gold badge is our way of acknowledging the thousands of workers that risked their lives to build it, the hundreds of individuals who have helped to maintain it ever since and the fact that it has benefited millions of British people who have used it in its 121-year history.”

Blue Peter presenter Barney Harwood visited the bridge in an episode which investigated the history of the structure. A recent refurbishment of the bridge has cost £130 million and took 10 years to finish, but the work is expected to last for 25 years.

Project manager at Network Rail, Ian Heigh, said: “Blue Peter viewers have followed the painting and maintenance of the bridge over several decades, so we thought it would be appropriate to give them access again at the end of this unique project.

“It’s a great honour to accept the gold Blue Peter badge on behalf of the thousands of men and women who have worked on the bridge over the last 130 years.”

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