This book has been written about bridges, of the stone arch and iron lattice girder variety. It is about a Civil Engineer and his works, and is written by another Civil Engineer. The book will obviously appeal to Civil Engineers, both in South Africa, the UK and elsewhere and to lay people who would enjoy reading about the origins of old bridges within the South African historical landscape. This book qualifies as historical Africana, about a subject which has not been researched or written about by anyone else. It could become a travel companion, as all the existing bridges have been clearly identified on a large map of the Eastern Cape, complete with Satellite Navigation co-ordinates. There are beautiful colour photographs of all the major bridges, with special emphasis placed on the stone arch bridges, as may be seen on the dust cover. We are all familiar with bridges, perhaps taking them for granted, however, many people have an interest in bridges, given by the large number of books available on various international bridges. This book aims to add to the record of the history of civil engineering works in South Africa.
Joseph Newey
Joseph Newey was an English Civil Engineer from West Bromwich, who came out to South Africa in 1873 to erect two iron lattice girder bridges at King William’s Town and Committees Drift for the Public Works Department of the Cape Colony. He stayed to design and build dozens of other bridges throughout the Eastern Cape and Transkei. Notably seven stone arch bridges at Cala, Barkly East (2), Ugie, Maclear, Aliwal North and Lady Grey. The devastating flood of December 1874 totally destroyed six bridges and damaged many others, being the PWD man on the spot, he was entrusted with the job of having them all repaired. The erection of the iron lattice girder bridge over the Great Kei River in 1878 was interrupted by the Ninth Frontier War, when he had to run for his life to fortified Komga. He was appointed District Inspector of the PWD at King William’s Town in 1882, when all public buildings of the area were added to his bridge building activities. He was appointed the Chief Inspector of Public Works of the Cape Colony in 1893, when even more diverse projects were to be managed by him. Due to ill health brought on by exhaustion and a bad heart, he retired to his Kei Road Farm in 1905, only to die two years later, leaving a huge legacy of great public works.
Joseph Newey, who for 32 years served the Public Works Department of the Cape Colony as a Civil Engineer, a District Inspector and finally as the Chief Inspector of Public Works, and has been little recognised. His numerous stone arch bridges and iron lattice girder bridges largely forgotten or demolished as they were built for ox wagons and horse-driven carts of the pioneering era across the Eastern Cape. In spite of the advent of motor vehicles which eventually made his single lane bridges redundant, his legacy remains as a bridge builder of the highest order. In this first account of Newey’s life and work, the considerable achievements of this multi- talented engineer are described and illustrated by numerous photographs and construction drawings.
Table of Contents
Preface Chapter 6      The Flood of December 1874
Introduction Chapter 7      The Great Kei Bridge
Chapter 1    Black Country Origins Chapter 8      Early Bridges on the Eastern Frontier
Chapter 2    Overseas Bridges Chapter 9      The Kraai & Orange River Bridges
Chapter 3    The Mont Cenis Railway Chapter 10    District Inspector of Public Works
Chapter 4    The Buffalo Bridge Works Chapter 11    Stone Arch & Iron Girder Bridges
Chapter 5    Committees Drift Bridge Chapter 12    Chief Inspector of Public Works
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