The swing bridge and turning platforms and lock gates at former east dock, just by the Teuchters Landing, is local icon of notable national importance. As Historic Environment Scotland note: “The swing bridge is of the John Rennie/Ralph Walker design of circa 1803 and is among the earliest surviving examples of a cast-iron swing bridge in the UK by one of Britain foremost engineers of the 19th century.”
Teuchters Landing, of course, was a port of call for the ferry to Aberdeen, keenly remembered by many in the neighbourhood. One Friend remembers his father describing the drunken scenes aboard the ferry he used to catch from there to Aberdeen with both crew and passengers making the most of being off shore.
As we’ve commented on before, FOWLB was concerned about the steady decay of this locally iconic and national important structure and recently called Historic Environment Scotland to find out what could be done about their state of repair. They cannot confirm ownership of the bridges (which would breach the data protection act), although we have heard that Forth Ports is responsible for them. We’ve had little luck getting a response to ask what the future holds for the bridge. This is unexpected given the company’s pride in winning a prestigious award for community engagement and work across the UK, including Leith.
Since our unanswered requests, the bridge has been closed off completely given safety issues yet there are no obvious efforts to re-open the structure or restore it to an acceptable state. We’d encourage readers to contact Forth Ports themselves to ask what is going on. Their media contact is available via this link. As ever, please also give a nudge to the councillors to ask what it they do to maintain and enhance the bridge to better show pride and responsibility for Leith’s heritage. It might also be useful to highlight this issue to the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.
Please let us know if you get any responses and let’s work together to improve our neighbourhood!