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Felixstowe: Len’s work bridged the gap down under

10:00 04 January 2013

Len Harris reading his 100th birthday card from the queen at Mill Lane Nursing Home, Mill Lane, Felixstowe.

Len Harris reading his 100th birthday card from the queen at Mill Lane Nursing Home, Mill Lane, Felixstowe.


NOT many people can point to their work around the world – but centenarian Len Harris has a lasting connection with one of the globe’s most iconic structures.

For Mr Harris worked on critical pieces manufactured for the Sydney Harbour Bridge in New South Wales, Australia, and specifically on the metalwork on which the steel arch structure which carries the city’s rail and vehicle traffic stands.

Mr Harris, who celebrated his 100th birthday on Wednesday at the Mill Lane Nursing Home in Felixstowe with family, friends and residents of the home, machined some of the slipper plates which form the base of the 134-metre high bridge.

Born in Newson Street, Ipswich, on January 2, 1913, after leaving school he worked as an engineer with companies such as Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Ransomes and Rapier and Manganese Bronze.

He married his wife Ivy in 1940 but she sadly died a few weeks before their 70th wedding anniversary.

They lived for 24 years in sheltered accommodation at Emily Bray House, Ipswich, and were among the first people to move into the complex.

Mr Harris has had a lifelong interest in Ipswich Town Football Club and the Ipswich Witches speedway team, and also enjoyed a passion for rifle shooting.


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