Joyce builds a bridge with Bedol boys and girls

Local Assembly Member Joyce Watson has helped pupils build a bridge at Ysgol y Bedol in Ammanford.

Pupils constructed a 14-metre long bridge, based on the design of the Second Severn Crossing, and tested it by walking on it.

The Labour Mid and West Wales AM was joined by Cllr Kevin Madge, who represents Garnant ward on Carmarthenshire county council.

Mrs Watson chairs the Assembly’s construction industry cross-party group. She said:

“I enjoyed meeting staff and pupils at Ysgol y Bedol and working on the project with these talented young people.

“The construction industry offers real opportunities for young men and women, so it is important that these pupils have had an early taste of it.

“The activity was educational, as well as being fun. Pupils used simple methods to construct a substantial structure, they learnt about Health & Safety issues and they developed their team building skills.”

Mr Madge added:

“I would like to thank Joyce for giving her time to attend this wonderful event at the school, thanks also to TRJ construction and ICE Wales Cymru.

“Hopefully one day some of the pupils will build new bridges all over the country because of the experience and skills they learned today.”

More than 90 pupils aged nine and 10 year worked together to construct the model cable-stayed bridge from plywood and aluminium sections.

The Year 5 and 6 children wore PPE (personal protective equipment) including hard hats, gloves, goggles and high-vis jackets to build and cross the bridge.

Yvonne Murphy, Vice Chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in Wales attended to speak to the children and help build the bridge.

The event was organised by TRJ Construction, in conjunction with ICE Wales Cymru.

2018 is ICE’s 200th anniversary and ICE is the oldest professional engineering institution in the world.

Keith Jones, ICE Wales Cymru Director said:

“As part of our 200th anniversary celebrations, we are making a special effort this year to highlight the way that civil engineers help shape the world around us, and to promote civil engineering as a career option to young people. Our Bridges to Schools activity, which is a 14m replica of the Second Severn Crossing, is enormously popular with schoolchildren and gives them an opportunity to work on a civil engineering project of their own! Well done to all the children who took part.”