Cavenagh Bridge From Glasgow to Singapore by Gavin MacLellan
Organised by Preservation of Sites and Momuments in partnership with British Council
The event was held on -
Date: Tuesday 15 October 2019
Time: 18.30 to 20.30
Venue: Ngee Ann Auditorium, Asian Civilisations Museum
Admission was free
Sign language interpretation was made available at this event.
Completed in 1869, Cavenagh Bridge is the oldest surviving bridge across the Singapore River. Its cast iron structure was manufactured by engineering firm P&W MacLellan, and shipped out from Glasgow to be assembled in Singapore. This talk will share the story behind this magnificent structure, and how it represented the technological advancement of that time or what is termed as “Clyde Built”.
What are some of the subtle yet important features of Cavenagh Bridge, and how does it compare to other bridges manufactured by P&W MacLellan around the world? The talk examined the efforts in maintaining this 150-year-old structure including the materials and technique deployed by early bridge builders in the 1850s and the techniques employed today.
About the Speaker
Gavin MacLellan is the descendent of Walter MacLellan, the co-founder of P&W MacLellan, which was the firm responsible for the manufacturing of Cavenagh Bridge in Singapore. His father was the last direct descendant as a Director of the firm until 1972. The firm ceased structural engineering in1979 before its diversification into other activities.
Trained as a mechanical engineer, he attained his Master of Business Administration at the University of Glasgow in 1993. He has over 30 years of experience in exporting heavy engineering products for leading British companies, and has first-hand understanding of the processes in bridge engineering and construction.
Gavin also served as the Deacon of the Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow (2007-2008), which supports the engineering craft in the City of Glasgow through education.