The Events on the Night of 25 October 1960

The Severn Railway Bridge

By Iris Capps

On the night of the 25 October 1960, thick fog had reduced visibility to 10 yards on the River Severn.  Two oil barges, the Wasdale and the Arkendale, carrying about 400 tons of petroleum, missed the entrance to Sharpness Docks and the Wasdale struck one of the piers supporting the bridge carrying the railway between Berkeley Road and Lydney in the Forest of Dean.  Both vessels burst into flames and exploded.

One of the supporting piers of the bridge was demolished and two others were left as tangled heaps of metal.  Eventually the bridge was dismantled.  All that remains is a turret-like structure standing alongside the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, this once supported a swing bridge which allowed boats to travel along the canal.

Photo:The Severn Railway Bridge

The Severn Railway Bridge

Donated by John and Sue Peacey

This page was added by Iris Capps on 08/03/2009.

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