Friday 4 November 2011

Footbridge at King's Cross Railway Station, London was made by Andrew Handyside in 1892.

The Derby firm Andrew Handyside who made Friar Gate bridge in Derby also made many hundreds of other bridges of many different sizes around the world such as this world famous footbridge which up until December 2008 was located in King's Cross Railway Station, London, UK.

As well as King's Cross footbridge, this bridge has many other names such as The Harry Potter Bridge, Handyside bridge.

Update for June 2013 : This bridge is now open at Ropely, Hampshire. See my video here.

King's Cross Footbridge is a Grade I listed structure built in Derby in 1892 by Andrew Handyside and installed at Kings Cross in 1893.

In 2008, as part of a major redevelopment of Kings Cross, the footbridge had to be dismantled and removed. English Heritage and the London Borough of Camden, as Planning Authority, stipulated that Network Rail should find a suitable alternative use for the footbridge. This alternative use has now been found at Mid-Hants Railway, Watercress Line, Alresford, Hampshire.

The Handyside footbridge used to run across the main station train shed, between platform 1 on the E side and platform 8 on the W side. This structure, approximately 66m long, and is made of composite lattice girders with diagonal straps and it is supported by cast iron columns with octagonal bases on all platforms except on platforms 7-6. Although it only linked platforms 1 and 8, the presence of gates within the south parapet in line with the intermediate platforms suggest staircases were once present to allow access to these.

A clock was situated directly over platform 8, with two large clock faces, to N and S, fixed above the faces of the bridge, driven via a rod by a clock mechanism housed inside the W range of buildings nearby. The West side of the footbridge was constructed in 1892 and has makers plates "A. Handyside & Co. of Derby and London" The East half of the bridge looks like an addition, or else a replacement. Perhaps the western half, if built first,was to connect only departure platforms, which the clock would also have served, when trains arrived at and departed from different platforms in the two halves of the station.

A new hope for the Handyside footbridge.

Currently (Nov 2011) the bridge is being shot blasted and will be installed at a heritage railway site in Mid-Hants. The plans for the bridge are based on 1/2 the bridge crossing the Mid Hants Railway’s main line, yard shunt road and two tracks into a new workshop i.e. 4 in total, with the second half creating a walkway from the end of the first bit to the entrance to viewing galleries in the workshop where we will place most of the interpretation materials. It could well be 6 months before this is complete.

I would like to thank David Snow and Elissa May at Mid Hants Railway watercressline for their help and information.

Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone :

On this footbridge is where Hagrid was filmed giving Harry his first Hogwarts Express ticket in the well known 2001 film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

For many years the trellis lattice work was covered along the inside of the bridge by fiberglass panels, these were removed for the film. Fans of Harry Potter used to visit this bridge so they could stand where Harry was when he was given his special ticket. See my images lower down of this bridge as seen in the Harry Potter film.


Long Panoramic photograph of the entire King's Cross footbridge when it was still in location.

Kings Cross, London

Kings Cross Section

Kings Cross Station (Harry Potter)

"A. Handyside" makers plaque on the stairs in Kings Cross Station.

for niznoz

A Handyside badge on one of the footbridge supports.
Handyside badge on King's Cross footbridge support

A time-lapse video showing the removal of this footbridge in 2008

King's Cross bridge removal time-lapse from NCE Magazine on Vimeo.

Handyside bridge as seen in the Harry Potter film:

King's Cross Footbridge Harry Potter 1

King's Cross Footbridge Harry Potter 2

King's Cross Footbridge Harry Potter 3

Photographs of the bridge in its new location:
Awaiting restoration before installation at the Watercress line.
view at Eastleigh showing sections of balustrade

Map Location:
View my Andrew Handyside World Map to see the exact location of this bridge on the world map.

My world map is the result of hundreds of hours of research into the company, plotting out each item as I find it.

Can you help find more Handyside stuff ?

If anyone out there knows of any other bridges around the world bearing the Handyside badge that I have not mentioned yet then please get in touch with details, location, photographs etc.



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