The Bridge

Pic of the Week: 30 April 2015

Tower Bridge, London

by Kay McMahon © 2015

This Pic of the Week needs no introduction, we’re sure—it’s probably the single most recognisable and iconic bridge in the world!

Each bascule (they’re the bits that swing up to allow tall-masted vessels to pass along the river) weighs over a thousand tons. They’re counterbalanced to shorten the raising time. Even so, it still takes them five minutes to swing fully open.

When the bridge opened in 1894, the metal parts were originally painted blue-green. It wasn’t until 1977, as part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations, that they were repainted in the current red-white-blue scheme. (There’s not much red to be seen, and you’ll have to look hard to see it on this photo, but it’s there all right!)