“I HOPE,” the Queen Mother said on June 26, 1970, “they will find the setting and amenities of the bridge so satisfying as to make the noise, dust and disturbance worthwhile after all.”

She addressed these remarks to residents on both sides of the Clyde, who had endured some disruption while the Kingston Bridge was being constructed. Councillor William Hunter, convener of Glasgow Corporation’s Highway Committee, praised the residents for their endurance over the last three years.

As she opened the £11.5 million edifice, cutting a blue ribbon at its northern end before being driven across the bridge, the Queen Mother declared: “Here on this great river, generations of men of Clydeside have grappled energetically and successfully with the vital problem of bridging the Clyde without hampering the movement of shipping which means so much to your welfare and the national economy.”

The completion of the bridge, she added, would bring into operation a great new road complex that would serve Glasgow, its people and its industrial and commercial life.

The bridge would stand as a ‘monument to the foresight and enterprise’ of the corporation and the skills of all those involved in its design and construction.

The scissors with which she cut the ribbon were presented to her by 17-year-old William Stevenson, of Saltmarket, a chain-boy who had worked on the bridge for 18 months.

In exchange she gave him, “for luck”, a shining 1967 halfpenny, the date when work began on the bridge.

The Kingston Bridge now deals with 150,000 vehicles a day, and is one of the busiest in Europe.