Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Photographs of Tower Bridge being constructed are found in a skip

Images courtesy of Wikipædia
Photographs of Tower Bridge being constructed are found in a skip

A fantastic find here as previously unseen pictures of the iconic Tower Bridge in the very early stages of its construction are revealed, after laying undiscovered in a London flat for years - including at one point being consigned to a skip!

Some of these photos must date from close to the beginning of the bridge's creation in 1886, as quite apart from the basic amount of progress visible in some of them, according to the accompanying report the "most recent" ones date from 1892 - two years before completion!

It always amazes me how such historically important documents can be lost and even disposed of without a second thought, let alone dismissed - particularly by those who should know better.  More fool that Tower Bridge Museum worker who indifferently claimed "we've got enough of those photographs already"!  How many of us have come into possession of - have saved - really old items that people were going to throw out as rubbish?  I know I have!  Well done to this caretaker, whoever he is, and to City of Westminster tour guide Peter Berthoud, for saving a record of the construction of a beautiful landmark structure and a piece of British history.

Tower Bridge, with its 19th Century Gothic stonework and unique design, has long been one of my favourite London landmarks.  Crossing it is always a thrilling experience and to see it or approach it both up close and from a distance is one of the greatest delights of working in the City.  I'm overjoyed to see these new photos detailing its creation, which was in itself an engineering marvel, and I'm sure they will now take pride of place in a London museum.


  1. Fantastic. What a find. I do have one print of the bridge when under construction, so it's great to see that these have come to light too. A true engineering marvel, thanks for posting!

  2. What an interesting post. Thanks for popping over to the blog. The swoosh of shellac is positively seductive, I feel very honoured to watch them spin! I've introduced The Boy to your blog - he read the post about vintage lifestyles being misunderstood and I should say that he thought you came across as a very interesting fellow and said he would like to read more of what you have to say. He isn't really a blog reader (not even mine!)so this is high praise!

  3. How I wish *I* had found them!! I cannot believe they were chucked out. *sigh* Makes me wonder what ELSE has been thrown away over the years.

  4. Great blog and interesting post! I am glad someone saved those old photos in time....treasures from the past for the nation to cherish in years to come!


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