His Royal Highness Prince Albert officially opened the bridge on 2nd May 1859. Several thousand spectators attended that day, although guests from Cornwall were late for the ceremony as their train broke down at Liskeard. I.K. Brunel died of a stroke on the 15th September.
Also at this time.. Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ controversially provided scientific evidence on the evolution of animals, including humankind.
Introduction of the express service from London Paddington to Penzance with limited stops on 1st July. After a competition in a railway magazine the name ‘Cornish Riviera Express’ was chosen. The train left Paddington at 10:10 arriving in Penzance at 17:10. It still runs to this day.
Also at this time.. The Wright Brothers developed the first practical fixed wing aircraft named the ‘Wright Flyer III’
The Royal Albert Bridge approach spans were replaced. Work could not disrupt the running of the ‘Cornish Riviera Express’, the Great Western Railway’s premier train service from London Paddington to Cornwall.
Also at this time.. John Logie Baird carried out the first transatlantic television transmission between London and New York.
Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge completed and collapsed
The Tamar Bridge Act received Royal Assent.
Also at this time.. Launch of the USSR’s Sputnik 1 the world’s first artificial earth satellite.
The Royal Albert Bridge was floodlit from May to September to mark 100 years since it first opened. Other events included a firework display.
Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company Limited were appointed to build the Tamar Bridge and work began in July.
Also at this time.. The British Motor Corporation launched the Morris Mini designed by Alec Issigonis.
The last locomotive hauled Cornish Riviera Express service was taken over by High Speed Trains.
An EU directive announced increased vehicle weights.
Also at this time.. Live Aid concerts held in London and Philadelphia raised money for famine relief in Ethiopia.
A decision was taken to strengthen the main deck and add two new lanes, following an assessment revealed the bridge would be unable to cope with 40 tonne vehicle loading in the long term.
The Tamar Bridge was officially reopened by Princess Anne on 26 April 2002, exactly forty years after the initial opening.
It was the world’s first suspension bridge to be widened using cantilevers, and the world’s first suspension bridge to be widened and strengthened while remaining open to traffic.
Work started in 2010 on refurbishment of the Royal Albert Bridge is completed.
Also at this time.. Queen Elizabeth II became Great Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
Cornish Riviera Express High Speed Trains replaced by Class 802’s.