Then & Now: Beryl’s Extraordinary Bridge Story

During our 16 (and a half) years of operation, BridgeClimb has had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people with interesting stories. Whether their Bridge tale begins the day they climb, or it began long ago and a Climb celebrates that story; we love how the “coathanger” brings so many people together. Sometimes it even brings two stories together.

Meet Beryl. Beryl recently journeyed over 1,000 kilometres, just like her brother did 83 years ago, to visit the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Although legally blind, Beryl was determined to celebrate her 90th birthday by honouring the memory of her brother, Lennie Gwyther. And that she did.

You may, or may not know the incredible story of Lennie Gwyther. It is a favourite for many of our Climb Leaders and we often like to share it during a Climb.


In 1932, Lennie was a 9 year old aspiring engineer. After saving his family farm when his father was sick, Lennie was rewarded for his efforts when he was given permission to make the extraordinary 1,000 kilometre pony ride from his farm in Melbourne to Sydney to attend the opening ceremony of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Such was the word-of-mouth, as Lennie travelled north from town to town he was welcomed by all; even receiving an invite by the Opening Ceremony Committee to join their celebrations and being given a police escort due to the hordes of admirers who flocked to see him when he arrived in Sydney.


On 12 March, 2015 - one week shy of the Bridge’s 83rd Birthday, today, 19 March 2015 – Beryl celebrated her 90th birthday with a climb to the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with 26 friends and family from all across Australia and New Zealand. It’s another truly remarkable and determined achievement from a family who has a special connection to the famous Aussie icon known as ‘the coathanger’.

If you have a special occasion that you want to celebrate by climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you mark the moment.