Bridges

A view looking across North Queensferry and the three Forth bridges.

There are now three crossings on the Forth. The new Queensferry bridge is on the right. But we don’t do new here, so let’s turn to an older bridge.

Chain Bridge, Budapest.

This was the second bridge to span the Danube, opened in 1849, and the first in Hungary. Does it remind you of a bridge across the Thames?

Marlow bridge.

The Chain Bridge in Budapest and Marlow bridge were both designed by William Tierney Clark, a Hammersmith based engineer. The Marlow bridge (1832) predates Budapest and is a scaled down version. He also designed the first suspension bridge to cross the Thames in 1827: Hammersmith bridge.

Hammersmith bridge, September 2017.

The similarity is marked but misleading as Clark’s bridge was not robust enough to cope with heavy traffic or crowds on Boat Race day. Joseph Bazalgette used Clark’s piers in his reconstruction of 1887. This all came to light when I saw a plaque by new flats near Hammersmith bridge. The Budapest bridge is in the background.

Hammersmith, September 2017.

I was walking up the north bank to meet Robert for lunch in Chiswick. On Sunday morning there were families strolling with push-chairs, walkers, joggers, oarsmen, canoeists and dinghy sailors; all taking a bit of exercise. Earlier in the week in Kensington Gardens I stopped to watch a more extreme activity.

Kensington Gardens, September 2017.

The girl is the pupil and the man her instructor. Nothing would induce me to do what she is about to do but don’t let me put you off.

Kensington Gardens, September 2017.

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