Welcome to my blog, Whats this about then?

This is a place where I will be posting all sorts of things not just things relating to Derby and Derbyshire. On here you will find details of any videos I’ve made of things in Derby and also Time-lapse, stop motion animation, Tutorials etc. If I find some useful software for PC or iPhone then I will feature it here.I’m sure that there will be something of interest to someone on my many posts.Please leave comments on any posts if you like them.
Don’t forget if you are new to my blog and would like to read through the previous posts then see the Blog Archive section on the left side of this page.
Also there is a Search box at the top left of the page if you are looking for something but cant remember where it was. I am a trustee member of "Friends of Friar Gate bridge", aiming to get this bridge restored.

Friday 7 June 2013

A very important day for me and Derby, The opening of "Harry Potter Bridge". Built by Andrew Handyside of Derby in 1892 for King's Cross Railway station now at Mid-Hants Railway, Watercress Heritage Line.

In honour of Andrew Handyside of Derby - Opening of "Harry Potter" bridge. 
It makes me very proud to represent Derby on this historic event.

On Tuesday 11th June 2013 a very important event is taking place for me that the people of Derby should be proud of. A famous bridge that was made in Derby one hundred and twenty one years ago is to be officially opened in its new home.
I have been invited as a special guest to the official opening of this bridge in its new location.

This footbridge was made right here in Derby at the former Britannia Ironworks on Duke Street by Andrew Handyside and Company. If you live on Handyside Street, Derby then raise a glass at noon on Tuesday.

King's Cross Railway Station Footbridge as it looked in 2006 :
Kings Cross Section

King’s Cross station opened in 1854, The footbridge was installed in 1893.
This famous footbridge was used by millions of people in King's Cross railway station until December 2008 when it was dismantled to allow for major redevelopment of the station. English Heritage stipulated that Network rail must find a suitable alternative use for this bridge when removed.
That new home is at Mid-Hants Railway, Watercress Heritage Line in Hampshire.
All 120 tons of this bridge was carefully taken apart, sandblasted and lovingly repainted once installed over the tracks at Ropley station, Hampshire.

At noon on Tuesday, Sir William McAlpine will unveil a Railway Heritage Trust Plaque and officially open this bridge. I will be there to take photographs, 360 degree VR photographs and video of the opening ceremony.

See this new location on my Andrew Handyside World Map of items. (fast PC need as lots of markers on my map!)

As well as the opening of this bridge they will also be celebrating the launch of NRM loco No 925 Cheltenham into traffic, this steam train has recently been restored by volunteers at Mid-Hants railway.

Read my blog for more information on King's Cross Footbridge.


Map of its new location at Ropley Station, Hampshire, UK :
Click this link to show a very accurate map location (works on Smartphones)

If your a big fan of the Harry Potter films then this bridge will be known to you as its was featured in the first film. Lots of Potter fans used to visit King's Cross railway station to walk along this very bridge.
On this footbridge is where Hagrid was filmed giving Harry his first Hogwarts Express ticket in Sorcerer’s Stone film.

The famous footbridge as seen in the 2001 film "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone" :
King's Cross Footbridge as seen in Harry Potter film

See my Friargate Bridge blog for details on this Andrew Handyside item.

For the first time I will be using Twitter to keep you in touch with my journey from Derby to Ropley.
I am setting out on Monday dinnertime getting a train from Derby to St Pancras then the Picadilly line from King's Cross to Leicester Square then from Leicester Square to Waterloo then another train from Waterloo to Alton. On Tuesday I will be on four steam train journeys!
By the time I get back to Derby I will have been on 10 train journeys total including Steam trains and Underground trains!
Follow my journey on Twitter : Andy Savage's Twitter feed.
I may be using the hashtag #AndrewHandyside or #BigJourney, not decided yet!
Feel free to retweet any interesting tweets.

If you would like to learn more about the Watercress line and this area of the country then I can highly recommend watching Great British Railway Journeys Series 3.

This series is now available on DVD :

The episode that features the Watercress  Line is episode number 7 of 25 "Reading to Alton, which is in the Windsor to Portland section of the series. You will then know why its called the "Watercress line".

A story about the forthcoming opening of the footbridge at Ropley Station was in last weeks Basingstoke Gazette

For more information on the Watercress Line see their website :

Andrew Handyside Company Ltd of Derby and London.
If your from Derby then you would be forgiven not knowing who Andrew Handyside was because for some reason we seem to have completely forgotten about this Victorian Iron Founder that put Derby on the map in its day. At one time Handyside were the second biggest employer in Derby !

Andrew Handyside & Co Ltd, was the creator of Friar Gate Bridge in Derby. People do not realise just how well renowned the work of Handyside was to Victorian life, I intend to show just how much impact he had on the world and why its important that we restore Friar Gate bridge in his honor. I have devoted thousands of hours of my spare time to this vast project. I am hoping to write a book on the subject as I have spent so much time on this, the world needs to know about this great man that put Derby on the map.

Here is a drawing of Andrew Handyside courtesy of Edinburgh Portrait Gallery :
Chalk drawing of Andrew Handyside.

Did you know this company made thousands of the iconic red post boxes that you see all around the UK?
Their bridges still stand all around the world today, still being used by trains and cars.
The amazing decorative fountains are also all over the globe and recently are being restored, people are getting in touch with me often about information on their fountains.
Their iron work is well known for being of the highest quality.

I have devoted many thousands of hours of my time to researching this company and tracking down every item around the world, mapping them out on my Andrew Handyside World location Map.
I have created a dedicated Andrew Handyside Flickr group which has a vast collection of photographs relating to Handyside.

Handyside post box on Bishop's Drive, Oakwood

And also a dedicated Andrew Handyside Blog which features items as I get time to post about them. Please take some time to have a real good look around my blog and map and see if you learn something from them.

If you have not yet signed my petition to get our very Andrew Handyside bridge restored then please sign it :
Friar Gate Bridge Restoration Petition. Our bridge in Derby is 135 years old, so much older than the King's Cross bridge. But no one seems to care about our own heritage !

Andy Savage

1 comment:

  1. I think this is great that they have reused this footbridge, it could so easily have just been scrapped. Nice that you have been invited to go to the opening of it, shows they appreciate all the effort you have put into researching Andrew Handyside. Have a great day and look forward to seeing the photographs.

    Keith, Spondon.