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Forth Bridge World Heritage photo competition winners unveiled

28 November 2013

Two stunning images of the world-famous Forth Bridge have taken the top prizes in a photographic competition run in support of the Bridge’s World Heritage nomination.

The winning entries from Edinburgh’s Grant Ritchie and Billy Steven from Bathgate were announced today by Transport Minister, Keith Brown who presented their awards of a VIP visit to the bridge and a copy of the book ‘Forth Bridge: Restoring an Icon’.

The winners – selected from over 250 entries from across Scotland and from as far away as Germany and Sweden – will be used as part of the Nomination Dossier which will be submitted to UNESCO in early 2014.

The photo competition was organised by the Forth Bridges Forum which is co-ordinating the World Heritage nomination process and undertaking extensive community engagement and consultation. It has also been gathering people’s views on how the potential social, economic and cultural benefits of World Heritage can be managed in the local and national interest.

Grant’s entry won the Contemporary category with his night-time image of the Forth Bridge taken earlier this year from the west platform at Dalmeny Station. The image which looks north along the Bridge is made all the more atmospheric due to the foggy conditions.

In the Historical category, Billy’s picture from 1948 captures the golden age of steam showing a locomotive at close range passing across the Bridge. The image was taken by Billy when he and a group of Scouts had been given permission to walk across the Bridge following an International Jamboree at Blair Atholl.

Second and third prizes were also awarded in both categories. A further 24 entries will receive a Certificate of Merit for the visual and technical quality of their image. All winning and commended  images will be displayed on the from today.

Announcing the winners, Mr Brown said: “The two winning photographs are quite spectacular. They capture the Forth Bridge’s past and present and demonstrate the place this iconic structure has had in our hearts over the decades.

“The range and quality of entries was very impressive. Of course, the photographers did have a stunning structure to work with as their focal point and this is something that came through in all entries. The competition has shown how the 19th-Century bridge continues to inspire us all.”  

The Minister added: “My congratulations to the two winners and all those whose photographs were commended by the judges. The winning images will play a key part in our documents to UNESCO and the photographers can be proud of the part they have played in the bid to secure World Heritage Status for this icon of Scotland industrial heritage.”

Grant Ritchie of Edinburgh, said: “I'm over the moon that my image has won out of so many other entries. Capturing the Forth Bridge is always a pleasure and something I have done on countless occasions, always trying to get a unique view which highlights this iconic structure which I think this photo does. The fact that my image will now be used in the bid to secure World Heritage status gives me an enormous sense of pride and achievement. I hope it catches UNESCO’s eye."

Historical category winner, Billy Steven from Bathgate, said: “For me the Forth Bridge is a real symbol of our industrial and transport heritage. I took the winning image when I was 16 during a very rare chance to walk along the Bridge after our Scout Jamboree. Luckily I’d taken along my father’s pocket camera and I managed to get a close up of the steam train crossing the Bridge. The photo still brings back many fond memories of that time and I am delighted it has won the competition, especially as my prize of a VIP tour will allow me to get back onto the Bridge and see it up close again.”

Further details on the nomination process is available at:

Notes for editors:

  • The UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced in May 2012 that the 19th-Century landmark mild-steel structure would be the first site from the revised UK Tentative List to be put forward to UNESCO for nomination.

  • The nomination to UNESCO is being overseen by the Forth Bridge World Heritage Steering Group of the Forth Bridges Forum, which includes Network Rail as owner of the Bridge, Transport Scotland, Historic Scotland, Fife Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Queensferry & District Community Council, Queensferry Ambition, North Queensferry Community Council, North Queensferry Heritage Trust, FETA and VisitScotland.

  • The Forth Bridges Forum is a Transport Scotland-led management Forum, established to ensure that thorough and effective stakeholder engagement remains at the heart of the operation and maintenance of the bridges – further information is available here

  • The nomination of the Forth Bridge to be considered as a World Heritage Site is due to be submitted in early 2014 with a decision expected from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in the summer of 2015.

  • The competition judges were: Peter Stubbs, Head Judge and Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society; Alastair Fyfe, Transport Scotland; Miles Oglethorpe, Historic Scotland; Diane Brown, Queensferry Ambition; Mary Finlayson, North Queensferry Community Council.

  • There are currently five World Heritage Sites in Scotland: St Kilda inscribed in 1986; Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (1995); Heart of Neolithic Orkney (1999); New Lanark (2001) and the Antonine Wall (part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire) (2008).

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, inspiring our people and our visitors to celebrate Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes and biodiversity as Scotland prepares to welcome the world in 2014 and beyond. Find out more about Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty at

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For further information

John MacNeil
Media Relations Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8714 or 07854 366 827