Monday 6 July 2015

The night Tower Bridge melted

I don't think I should put personal reminisences here - but its hot - and people are moaning about the buses.

In the late '60s - I was working in Stamford Street, and I could get a number 70 bus from outside my office to the Cutty Sark.  So - it was a very, very hot evening and I set off for Greenwich.

The traffic was terrible and the bus was hot - even up the front in an RT with the windows open.  We got slower and slower - by the time we got to Tooley Street there were buses and cars which had boiled, all over the pavements. Buses were pulled over with the driver and conductor sitting on the platform, looking miserable.  Vast great queues at bus stops. Terrible. And it kept getting hotter.  Eventually people began to pass round a story - someone had got on the bus who had told them that Tower Bridge had melted and that the road had fallen into the river.

Well you never know, do you?

I have looked in vain on the net for this incident - although one US newspaper clipping says it was in July 1968..   I know Tower Bridge has stuck again recently but none of the reports of that seem to mention it at all. 

So what was going on??

1 comment:

IanVisits said...

An article in The Times on July 2nd, 1968 says that the bridge was unable to close properly after a ship passed through as the metal locks had expanded in the 90°F temperatures.

Although the bridge was safe for pedestrians, road traffic was diverted for three hours.

It was the first jam of the bridge in about 20 years.