Lunchtime Talks: The Port Meadow Bailey Bridge with Peter Smith

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This is no ordinary bridge… The Bailey Bridge was a highly innovative modular bridge when invented for military use during WW2 to meet a desperate need. Described in the wartime media as a “Wonder Bridge”, and as one of the top 3 engineering and technological developments of WW2 by Eisenhower, it made a huge contribution towards ending the war. This highly illustrated talk explores its development, it’s construction and uses both during and after WW2. It explains why Oxford’s bridge is there, with September 2022 marking the 75th anniversary of its erection, it’s recent heritage status and also touches upon its future.

Peter Smith lives in West Oxford and is passionate about Port Meadow. He is a Chartered Surveyor with a keen interest in local history. Peter has spent some years researching both the Bailey Bridge and the WW1 flying training aerodrome at the north end of the meadow. He has also chaired the community group who in 2018 successfully raised money for a new stone memorial commemorating 17 young airmen killed in accidents on-site. Peter enjoys raising local awareness of both these topics through articles and talks.

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