Author: Mackey, Sean
First published: N/A
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Under the chairmanship of the President, Mr. A.J. Harris, BSc, CEng, MIStructE, MICE opened the debate in support of the motion ' That structural design is best carried out in professional offices ' and was followed by Mr. J.A. Derrington BSc(Eng), CEng, MIStructE, MICE who opposed it. This debate took place against the background of the note which appeared in The Structural Engineer, January 1967, pp. 3-4. At the end of the evening the two camps were equally populated and it was the Chairman's casting vote that carried the motion.
Mr. R. J. M. Sutherland: First, I should like to say that this is an excellent paper on a restoration which clearly became a real work of love. I have one slightly critical point; the author says that this bridge is the last surviving remnant of Telford's work in cast iron. I do not really agree with this. Surely the Mythe bridge at Tewkesbury, almost identical in construction, 170 ft span, is still in existence in its original form, except for a concrete deck added in the 1920s. There is another similar Telford bridge of 150 ft span, the Gatton bridge in Birmingham, but I do not know whether anything has happened to that one; also the famous Bettws-y-Coed bridge which was slightly different. Another very similar one cast by Haseltine and clearly derived from but not designed by Telford is the 150 ft span Dee bridge at Eaton Hall and doubtless one could think of others.
The Chairman: 'I think perhaps Mr. Reece has been a little less controversial than I had hoped he would be, but I trust that there are members in the audience who will draw out the very finest which Mr. Reece can produce in the discussion to follow. I think the open frankness of general approach in the paper is one which made me rather proud that we had a contributor who would write things in such terms, and we as an Institution were prepared to publish, for instance, such a statement as appears in the paper at the bottom of page 102, " What do we do about this?" Also, "Do we give up the analytical ghost...". It is that kind of expression which I think has a lot of hard thinking behind it.'