On 25 October 1960 the Severn Railway Bridge was hit and partially destroyed by two tanker barges - the Wastdale H and the Arkendale H. One of the boats was full of petrol which exploded, setting the River Severn ablaze. (Photo: The Chris Witts collection)
The vessels collided in heavy fog and got caught by the current before hitting the bridge, which partially collapsed. Five men lost their lives. This photo shows the scene the following day. (Photo from Chris Witts collection)
Two spans of the Severn Railway Bridge collapsed after the boats hit pier 17 of the bridge. (Photo: The Chris Witts collection)
The damaged bridge remained in place until it was dismantled, starting in the late 1960s. This picture was taken by John Thorn in 1965 (approximately) from the Lydney side of the river (Pic: www.sungreen.co.uk)
Originally there were plans to rebuild the bridge but these were quietly dropped sometime after 1962. This photo shows the bridge midway through demolition. (Photo: The Ian Thomas collection)
When the bridge collapsed the link between the communities of Lydney and Sharpness, which had lasted for over 80 years since it was completed in 1879, was severed. This photo shows one of the spans being demolished. (Photo: The Ian Thomas collection)
The Wastdale (right) and the Arkendale (left) in 2010. The remains of the vessels can still be seen at low tide in the Severn Estuary.
Port side of the Wastdale in October 2010. The hole is thought to be where span 16 landed on the deck. The buckling on the side is where the ship struck the pier.
The Arkendale today. The massive dent was caused by span 17 falling onto it.
The bow of the Arkendale.
The only evidence of an explosion that happened on the Wastdale - the metal deck has been lifted by the force of the blast.
One theory is that this dent was caused by part of the bridge column landing on the deck. The stretching of the metal may have created enough heat to cause the explosion.
The Wastdale (left) and the Arkendale (right) as they are today.
The helm of the Wastdale, known as a "gypsy". Some of the wooden spokes are still visible showing evidence of blackening from the fire which occurred after the explosion.
Part of the Severn Bridge can still be seen lying in the pump house of the Wastdale after it fell onto it 50 years ago. The cast iron box section can clearly be seen.
The Arkendale seen from the Wastdale in October 2010.
The stern of the Arkendale.
River Severn expert Fred Larkham studies the wreck of the Arkendale, October 2010. The boat's name can still be clearly seen.
In October 2010 two memorials were unveiled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Severn Railway Bridge disaster. One is situated at Lydney Docks and the other (pictured) is at Purton.
The remains of the Wastdale and the Arkendale can still be seen in the distance at low tide.
The remains of the Arkendale and Wastdale wrecks can still clearly be seen at low tide in the River Severn (Photo: John Wilkes)