Tower Bridge: Some interesting facts

tower-bridge1910 – the high-level Walkways, which were designed so that the public could still cross the bridge when it was raised, were closed down due to lack of use.

1912 – during an emergency, Frank McClean had to fly between the bascules and the high-level walkways in his Short biplane, to avoid an accident.

1952 – a London bus driven by Albert Gunter had to leap from one bascule to the other when the bridge began to rise with the number 78 bus still on it.

1977 – Tower Bridge was painted red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. (Before that, it was painted a chocolate brown colour).

1982 – Tower Bridge opened to the public for the first time since 1910, with a permanent exhibition inside called The Tower Bridge Experience.

 1993 – The Centenary exhibition was opened at the Tower Bridge.

 1994 – The bridge was available for events and parties.

 2002Tower Bridge Exhibition.  was reopened.

Tower Bridge was needed as originally the only crossing for the Thames was London bridge, and as the population grew this became too congested. At this time the east end of London was a thriving port being served by hundreds of boats including Thames Sailing Barges.

(London Bridge was perhaps one of the first bridges built over the Thames, the original wooden version was built about 50 AD.  The most famous version of the bridge that was used in the nursery rhyme was built by King Henry II as part of his penitence for the murder of Thomas Becket by his knights.  Eventually it became saturated with buildings (some 200 by the Tudor period) on top that ultimately proved to be a fire hazard and were torn down after an act of Parliament in the 18th Century.  Another bridge was built in the 19th Century, and when it came time for its replacement, it was sold in 1968 to Robert McCulloch, who had it shipped to Arizona where he rebuilt it).  


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