Gondolas in the Air – the story of Transporter Bridges

Gondolas in the Air – The Story of Transporter Bridges is a project which, like several of my earlier books, has grown out of frustration at not being able to find information I was looking for in any other publications. That started me out on what has become a fascinating journey of discovery.

Transporter bridges are a legacy of the closing years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th, and served a brief but important need. The huge increase in road transport, however, quickly rendered them obsolete, and probably not more than twenty-one were ever built across the world – five of which were in Britain. Just nine still stand in their original form and, at the time of writing, only six are still in use – one each in Spain and France, and two each in Germany and the UK. Another, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been unused since the 1960s but will return to service in 2019 after a major restoration. 

But is the transporter bridge about to undergo a surprising renaissance? At the time of writing, proposals exist for three new bridges, all in France – at Nantes, Marseille and Brest – to replace some of those lost during and after the Second World War.

The book will be illustrated in colour throughout, using hundreds of photographs – John's own modern images and historic photographs and postcards chronicling the construction and operation of these unusual structures. Publication is projected for 2018. 


A publisher for this project is currently being sought.



The Victorian Photographs of Dr. Thomas Keith and John Forbes White is now available from John Hannavy Publishing price £20.00 + P&P. 

To order a copy, use the Contacts page.


Published by PiXZ/Halsgrove in October 2017, price £9.99, is  Edwardian Railways in Postcards a celebration both of the railways themselves and of the art of the postcard photographers, colourists and publishers. Click on the book cover, below to log on to Amazon.co.uk where you can see all of John Hannavy's currently available books. 

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All images and text © John Hannavy