Bernera and District communities celebrate 60 years of bridge link

Calling up memories of Bridge opening celebrations 60 years ago, the community marked the occasion with dress up, events and ceilidhs.

Calling up memories of Bridge opening celebrations 60 years ago, the community marked the occasion with dress up, events and ceilidhs.

0
Have your say

A great number of Bernera and District citizens gathered at the newly painted Bridge to celebrate its 60th birthday on Saturday, July 13th.

Echoes of the celebrations of 1953 were re-enacted by a ferry boat undertaking the original crossing with Norman Macdonald (Tobson) as a passenger and Graham Williamson (Kirkibost) as the oarsman.

In charge of proceedings was Iain Mackay (Kirkibost) who did an excellent job of marshalling the crowd and informing people of the Bridge’s engineering.

Following this children and other members of the community dressed in 50’s costume danced a reel across the Bridge, to the accordion music played by Gordon Cameron and Angus Macdonald.

Noreen Maciver (Croir) cut a ribbon to much applause, and finally the rest of the community present followed the piper Scott Morrison over the Bridge.

All there to celebrate the 60th anniversary were invited back to the Community Centre, where everyone enjoyed an excellent buffet prepared by Maureen Macdonald (Chairperson) and many of the ladies in the community.

There was an excellent display of 50’s food including corn beef, spam fritters, and other delicacies of that era.

A toast to the Bridge and its continued service to the Bernera community was proposed by Calum Murdo McLean as the company was reminded of the struggle that an earlier generation had to find the funding for a Bridge.

A great evening was enjoyed by all, dancing to the excellent music of John Porteous and friends.

A crowd of 4,000 strong was present when the Bridge was originally opened in 1953.

Reporting on the event, the Stornoway Gazette wrote: ‘On that day Bernera ceased to be an island and became part of Lewis. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say Lewis ceased to be an island and became part of Bernera.’