Bridging The Gap

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Ron
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Location: Blue Mtns.

Bridging The Gap

Post by Ron » Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:28 pm

Homework June 2021

Bridging The Gap.
© Ron Boughton 14/6/21

Just what this city needs he thought, an ‘engineering injection’!
A bridge across the harbour, therein styled to perfection,
For just before the arch was joined, he stood with boot on either side
Hands clasped behind his back, in cheeky look of daring pride!
And now; I gaze upon the photo, taken of him on that day
For, was our Grandad Sam, astride, the top of the archway,
So far above the harbour waters, no O.H. and S. back then,
But just to be employed, was to be thankful for these men!

Sam’s line of work for the duration, of the bridge construction
Was as a ‘leading chain man’ which entailed much instruction,
Of constant measuring of the steel in all temperature range,
As winter snaps, caused contraction and here the steel would change!
And then if covered in sunshine, for any time it would expand!
A critical part in the project, of this structure grand.
For it is Sydneys landmark, without doubt! not even -just a smidge-
As the Harbour Bridge is Sydney! And Sydney is …The Bridge!

For hard to mention one, without a visual of the other,
Inclusive of a harbour, not equaled by another,
And flying in over the city there is nothing to compare
The beauty of it all, especially when viewed from the air!
And so too; many overseas expats, share the love with discern
From shellbursts of emotion, when seeing it on return!
So, thinking to retire in Sydney, it really should get the vote
For as you’d know it has, the perfect place! …to hang your coat!

Footnote. My Grandfather Samuel Boughton worked on the bridge, and I have a copy of the photo of him straddling the arch on the day just before it was joined. No harness etc. could you imagine that happening today. :o :D

Terry
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Re: Bridging The Gap

Post by Terry » Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:58 pm

G/Day Ron

They were a different breed of men back then mate, his generation helped to make Australia what it is today.
And there are those who try to belittle them - yet they were true Aussie hero's, and we shouldn't forget that.

Great story Ron, and a family connection as well - hope you have that photo hung up somewhere prominent as well.

Cheers

Terry

Ron
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Location: Blue Mtns.

Re: Bridging The Gap

Post by Ron » Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:50 pm

Thanks Terry, they were a special breed for sure mate, they just got on with it and got things done.
And yes the photo has pride of place in the lounge room. :D
Cheers
Ron

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Catherine Lee
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Re: Bridging The Gap

Post by Catherine Lee » Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:51 pm

You must be so proud of your Grandad Sam - what a very special treasure that photo must be in your family! I really enjoyed reading this poem, Ron, especially with the personal connection. The Bridge is indeed an amazing symbol of Sydney, and I relate so well to the emotion felt when flying back into this stunning city.

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Maureen K Clifford
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Re: Bridging The Gap

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:18 pm

WOW! That's a story and a half and something to be proud of as well.

Your Grandad one of the lucky ones who kept his head and his balance - I believe that some didn't and are permanently entombed in the bridge pylons - from memory 3 men presumably slipped and fell and their bodies were unable to be recovered. Celebrations of the joining of the two halves of the Bridge on the afternoon of August 19, 1930, were short-lived – due to the metal contracting and separating, the arch was rejoined later the same evening. .... not sure how true these 2 stories are but they are well entrenched as part of the legend of the Bridge.
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

Ron
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Re: Bridging The Gap

Post by Ron » Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:51 pm

Thank you Catherine and Maureen, Yes quite proud of old Sam and cherish the childhood memories I have of him. He died when I was Thirteen years old.

Catherine, I had you in mind in the lines re. the expat after reading your wonderful poem. Also with many of Clive James nostalgic comments on
same topic as well.

Maureen, Not sure about the story of the pylon deaths but I know there was one chap who fell into the water and survived! His name was Kelly and of
course in true Aussie fashion, his nickname was Ned. The one about the joining is true, the bottom chord of the arch sprang open when the
steel cooled overnight in August 1930.
As you say there are many stories that are all part of the legend. :) Also many interesting statistics too.
Cheers
Ron

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Shelley Hansen
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Re: Bridging The Gap

Post by Shelley Hansen » Sun Jun 27, 2021 2:13 pm

Great story Ron! Definitely deserved a poem, and yes, just imagine Workplace Health and Safety today!
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

Ron
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Re: Bridging The Gap

Post by Ron » Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:41 am

Thanks Shelley,
Much apppreciated, glad you enjoyed it'.
Cheers
Ron.

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