The industrial heritage of Bo’ness is now showcased in a globally recognised setting which refuses to be laid low by terror – London Bridge.
Two years on from the tragic Saturday, June 3, attack on the bridge and the wider vicinity of Borough Market, the expertise of local workers has helped the city to replicate a key part of the iconic structure, which spans the mighty River Thames.
For staff at family-run Ballantine Castings in Links Road were tasked with the important role of re-building the bridge’s ornate posts and balustrades after winning a coveted contract with bridge bosses.
The fixtures bore the brunt when a van was deliberately driven into pedestrians on the bridge, killing eight people and injuring 48.
Now the foundry has harnessed its time-served tradition and expertise, and faithfully re-constructed this part of the layout.
Director Gavin Ballantine explained: “Working solely from the damaged castings, Ballantine faithfully remade six tonnes of the balustrading. And we used the same traditional methods of manufacture that would have been used when the bridge was originally erected.
“Although the company is proud to have played it part in rebuilding an iconic structure, so adored by Londoners and tourists alike, our thoughts and sentiments go out to all of those affected by the events of summer 2017.”
That view was also reflected by Linlithgow and East Falkirk MP Martyn Day. He said “Secondly, I would like to extend congratulations to the extremely hard-working and talented employees at Ballantine Castings who played such a pivotal role in restoring such an iconic structure as London Bridge.
“This showcases the wealth of diverse skills, experience and expertise Bo’ness and the surrounding community has to offer.”
Chairman of Bo’ness Heritage Trust Madelene Hunt said it was further proof that this traditional industry was still a unique force to be reckoned with in the town – and far beyond the boundaries of Bo’ness.
She added: “I was at an event in Callendar Park last year about the foundries and it was said that this is the only one left.
“They’re still going, still working all over the world so it is great to see that it is still going strong with a contract like that one.”
London Bridge links the City of London with Southwark. A link between both points has existed since Roman times but this version of the bridge opened in 1973.