Meccano bridge secures world record for Belfast students

Academics and students from Queen’s University, Belfast, have claimed a new Guinness World Record for the world’s largest Meccano structure, after completing construction on a 96ft bridge.

The Big Bridge Build was undertaken by the University’s School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, and has been in planning for a year. The 600kg bridge used 11,000 pieces of Meccano to span Belfast’s Clarendon Dock, and was put together with the help of local schools in an effort to promote STEM education.

Student Mark Paine walks across the bridge
Student Mark Paine walks across the bridge

“This event has been a fantastic way to celebrate the student and staff’s incredible work over the past year, but also a chance to show local children more about the exciting courses we offer here at the Queen’s University,” said Danny McPolin, senior structures lecturer at Queen’s School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering.

“With a growing skill shortage in civil engineering, we hope that our work will encourage more children to consider the study of civil engineering and other STEM subjects at university level.”

The students celebrate the world record

The project was backed by Spin Master Corp, maker of Meccano. Members of the public that attended the event over the weekend had the opportunity to speak with students and academics involved, as well as create their own Meccano structures in a dedicated area.

“We are truly in awe of this remarkable achievement,’ said Ben Varadi, executive vice president and chief creative officer of Spin Master Corp. “Spin Master is incredibly proud that this timeless and iconic toy, invented over a 100 years ago, continues to inspire the world’s future architects and engineers.”