Tower Bridge (2)

Yesterday we looked at Tower Bridge in Meccano form. Today we’ll take a sideways glance at the real thing.

Tower Bridge is one of the iconic sights of Britain. We all recognise it and love it. We all really rather hope and imagine that when the folks of Lake Havasu City in Arizona bought London Bridge, they thought they were getting Tower Bridge.

By UK standards Tower Bridge isn’t old for it was opened in 1894. But it is a wonder of engineering and very much loved.

When it was built it was felt that walkers wouldn’t wait when the roadway was raised for river traffic to pass under, so the girders at high level were made into walkways. In fact, pedestrians found the climb up, across and down, made it worth waiting and the walkways were closed in 1910.

I was able to cross on an ‘educational’ visit in the 1970s. In fact the walkways re-opened in 1982. My photos date from 1975 (ish).

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The old sign looked Victorian and clearly no love was granted to it with more modern electric conduits placed over the top.

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Don’t expect me to understand this magnificent array of dials, pipework and valves. I just thought then, and still do, that they are things of beauty.

Let’s get up the top.

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I’m not enough of a Londoner to know just where I was looking to take that photo, but clearly it was dockland. The docks were there then. The shipping was not. I’m going to guess that it was St Katharine’s Dock and here’s hoping somebody in Blogville will put me right if it’s somewhere else.

But I know where this is.

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I was on the east side walkway and through the West walkway, we see St Paul’s Cathedral.

It was a real experience back then. I wonder what it is like in much more sanitised today.

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