Tower Bridge Raised

At 8:30 this morning, the magnificent Tower Bridge in London was raised to allow the Swedish replica sailing ship ‘Gothenburg’ to pass along the River Thames. This is a rare sight these days, and I was pleased to be able to find a photo of it online. In my youth, the bridge opened numerous times a day to let in cargo vessels. The local traffic would be faced with long delays when that happened.

(Click on the photo for a much larger image.)

43 thoughts on “Tower Bridge Raised

  1. Thanks, Pete. I don’t know if I misremember it, but I am pretty sure I’ve seen it up once, although many years back, probably just when I first moved to the UK, as I spent several months there staying with my relatives, and I was studying in central London and used to go for long walks. It is quite the sight.

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  2. Don’t think anyone else has mentioned it but many get this Tower bridge confused with “London” bridge. So much so that when the actual plain London bridge was being replaced, the old one got sold & was brought by an American who thought he was getting Tower bridge.

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  3. In my 5 years of London 80-85, I never saw the bridge raised once.
    On my return 2014 I took a boat ride to Greenwich & the Capt said if we catch the return ride he will give us a treat. So we raced around Greenwich in only 20 minutes and what a treat. We circled around the bridge to watch a yacht come through. We could not have got any closer

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    1. I used to watch it raise and lower all the time in my childhood. I coulkd walk there from where we lived in a few minutes. Once I was older, I sat stuck in the traffic as it did that. But I never complained, as Tower Bridge is my favourite thing in London.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely stuff. Is there much of a tidal range on that section of the Thames, Pete? That could determine the time of the bridge opening, and how much traffic disruption that would cause. That’s a daily consideration here in Whitby; the swing bridge in the centre of town is often opened several times a day, to allow access to & from the upper harbour. It is very possible that in the near future, the bridge will be permanently closed to vehicular traffic, as it is very narrow, and therefore dangerous for pedestrians, but the alternative traffic management options don’t appear to have been thought out [or earmarked for appropriate funding] very well. How surprising! 😉 Cheers, Jon.

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    1. Yes, the Thames is tidal, Jon.
      ‘The Thames Estuary is macrotidal with a mean spring tide range of 5.2 m at Sheerness gradually increasing upstream to 5.9 m at Tilbury and 6.6 m at London Bridge (United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, 2003).’
      There were times when larger ships could navigate down as far as London Bridge to offload at nearby wharves. But they could go no further west of course, unless they could pass under the bridge supports. That is why barges were used extensively until the late 1970s.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

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