A snapshot of wartime

editorial image

Do you know anyone in this photo, taken at Russells
Yard in Bearsden way back 
in 1945?

It was emailed to the Herald by Fiona Collins, whose mum Marjorie Braid is in the picture as a teenager.

Marjorie, who is now 91, worked in the office at the yard as a 19-year-old.

According to Fiona, the men in the photo helped build the famous Bailey bridges, developed by the British during World War II for military use and used extensively by British, Canadian and US military engineering units.

As well as working in the office, Marjorie was responsible for helping to paint parts of the bridges as war work.

Fiona added: “My mother lived in Bearsden opposite the famous Scottish artis Joan Eardley who also worked there ;painting the bridges.”

Joan, who passed away in Killearn in 1963, was noted for her portraiture of street children in Glasgow and her landscapes of the fishing village of Catterline and surroundings on the North-East coast of Scotland.

Donald Bailey, a civil servant at the War Office, was behind the famous bridges.

A Bailey bridge has the advantages of requiring no special tools or heavy equipment to assemble.

The wood and steel bridge elements were small and light enough to be carried in trucks and lifted into place by hand, without requiring the use 
of a crane. The bridges were also strong enough to carry tanks.

They continue to be used extensively in civil engineering construction projects.