Hammersmith Bridge in London…

Hammersmith Bridge is a crossing of the River Thames in west London, just south of the Hammersmith town centre area of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on the north side of the river. It allows road traffic and pedestrians to cross to Barnes (in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames) on the south side of the river. The current bridge is the second permanent bridge on the site.


The construction of a bridge was first sanctioned by an Act of Parliament in 1824 and work on site began the following year. It was the Thames’ first suspension bridge and was designed by William Tierney Clark.

The bridge had a clear water-way of 688 feet 8 inches. Its suspension towers were 48 feet above the level of the roadway, where they were 22 feet thick. The roadway was slightly curved upwards, 16 feet above high water, and the extreme length from the back of the piers on shore was 822 feet 8 inches, supporting 688 feet of roadway. There were eight chains, composed of wrought-iron bars, each five inches deep and one thick. Four of these had six bars in each chain; and four had only three, making thirty-six bars, which form a dip in the centre of about 29 feet. From these, vertical rods were suspended, which supported the roadway, formed of strong timbers covered with granite. The width of the carriageway was 20 feet, with two footways of five feet. The chains passed over the suspension towers, and were secured to the piers on each shore. The suspension towers were of stone, and designed as archways of the Tuscan order. The approaches were provided with octagonal lodges, or toll-houses, with appropriate lamps and parapet walls, terminating with stone pillars, surmounted with ornamental caps. Construction of the bridge cost some £80,000. It was operated as a toll bridge.

Hammersmith Bridge 1827 - Project Gutenberg etext 12595

Engraving of the first Hammersmith Bridge, made in 1827

By the 1870s Hammersmith Bridge was not strong enough to support the weight of heavy traffic and the owners were alarmed in 1870 when 11,000-12,000 people crowded onto the bridge to watch the University Boat Race, which passes under the bridge just before the halfway point of its 4 1/4 mile course. In 1884 a temporary bridge was put up to allow a more limited cross-river traffic while a replacement was constructed.

The current suspension bridge was designed by noted civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette and rests on the same pier foundations constructed for Tierney Clark’s structure. The new bridge was built by Dixon, Appleby & Thorne. It was opened by the Prince of Wales on 11 June 1887.[1] With much of the supporting structure built of wrought iron, it is 700 feet (213.4 m) long and 43 feet (13.1 m) wide and cost £82,117 to build.

Structural soundness and repairsEdit


Hammersmith Bridge, seen from the Westminster to Kew tourist boat


250px Rowing crews racing under Hammersmith Bridge

Hammersmith Bridge has long suffered structural problems and has been closed for lengthy periods on several occasions, due to the weight and volume of road traffic now common in inner London, which the bridge was not originally designed to support.

The bridge was refurbished in 1973 with replacement steel trusses, improvements to the mid-span hangers and new deck expansion joints. New deck timbers were installed and surfacing was changed from wooden blocks to coated plywood panels. These panels were subsequently replaced in 1987.

In 1984 the Barnes-side tower bearings failed under a heavy load and had to be replaced.

In February 1997 the bridge was closed to all traffic except buses, bicycles, motorcycles, emergency vehicles and pedestrians to allow further essential repair works. Structural elements of the bridge had been found to be corroded or worn, in particular cross girders and deck surfacing, as well as some areas of masonry.

The bridge re-opened in July 1998 to all road users, subject to a 7.5 ton weight restriction and with a priority measure in place for buses. Local bus flow was controlled by traffic lights, and routes (such as the 72) were required to convert from double-decker buses to smaller single-deckers to reduce the load on the bridge.

As part of the renovations following the 2000 IRA bombing (see below), the bridge received a complete new paint job restoring it to the original colour scheme of 1887, and new lighting was installed.

The bridge was declared a Grade II listed structure in 2008, providing protection to preserve its special character from unsympathetic development.


Visit Little Venice in London…

Have you heard of London’s Little Venice?

Filled with narrow boats and alongside charming pubs and tree-lined streets, Little Venice was relatively unscathed during the bombings in World War Two, which means the area retains its original Georgian buildings. Quite an upscale area, the houses here are big and beautiful and lend a charming feeling to this quiet pocket of London.

Be sure to check out our pay-what-you-like walking tours of London.

From April to November, Canal boats ply Regents Canal from Little Venice to Camden Lock.  Jason’s Canal Boat Trips are free if you have the London Pass.  Also, be sure to check out our post on London boat tours.



Where is London’s Little Venice?

London’s Little Venice is tucked away in the residential neighbourhood of Maida Vale. Both the Regent’s Canal and the Grand Union Canal meet together here, creating a small oasis in this northern part of town, and giving the area the name of Little Venice.  The closest London Underground station is Warwick Avenue (Bakerloo line), but it is within walking distance of Edgeware Road (Circle, District and Hammersmith lines). We recommend using this link for directions to Little Venice from anywhere in the London area.  You can also reach Little Venice from Camden Town by walking along the Regents Canal.  Buses: 6, 16, 18, 46, 98, 187, 332, 414

What is there to do in Little Venice?

For something cheap and cheerful, treat yourself to a walk along the canal! It is possible to begin your journey in Little Venice and walk along the water all the way into Camden. The walk is beautiful and will take you through Regent’s Park, as well as through London Zoo – actually giving you glimpses into some of the animal habitats inside.

Or spend a few pounds and take a boat. The London Waterbus Company has regular services of longboats traveling up and down the canal. Away from the tourists and crowds of the centre of town, this can be a unique and special activity to partake in. Check out the London Waterbus Company website for more details.

The Canal and River Trust have a self-guided tour of Regents Canal to help you learn more about Little Venice and the surrounding area.  You can even take part in a guided tour of Little Venice every Saturday at 2 pm.

If you want to catch a show – you can do that here, too! The Canal Café Theatre has performances, comedy and plays regularly and is far cheaper than other theatres in the West End. Also, there is the Puppet Theatre Bargewhich is pretty self-explanatory! Puppet theatre performed…on a barge!.

It’s also possible to eat and drink well in this neighbourhood. The Bridge House Pub here serves amazing meals and great drinks to match. There is also the Warwick Castle, a popular haunt for locals, it’s tucked down a small side street in Little Venice and is a great place to while away the hours.


Don’t be afraid of the dark….

If you are starting from scratch, you need not be afraid of the dark. You must enter into the darkness on the contrary. You must confront your fears. If you try to do it everything can be good for you. You should always stand upright. If you do not face your fears;” You always lose against life. You can always sad and lonely. Win or lose does not matter to you.Never change your point of view.You would an ordinary simple life. You do not know the value of time. I don’t understand why people are so desperate about it.”Do you know how much time short? Do you want to live your life in constant coward?Why are you waiting for?What was the benefit of what you have so far?

I was afraid once. But now I’m not afraid. It was not easy for me.I did not know what to do. I had the time I was helpless. But I always said to myself” Never give up”. This is my most important principles. Even the slightest problem first that comes to my mind. Then everything is resolved.

Now it’s your turn.Don’t have to be scared anymore. Know the value of your time. Your dreams and get a large target. Be strong and courageous. You believe everything will be very nice. Create your own light. Don’t forget the human creates his own destiny. You live your life for yourself not for others. Now forget about the bad things you’ve experienced in the past. And dreams about the future and begin to establish targets. You set dreams and goals. You’ll see, You will not be afraid of the dark and fell again. Always want to the best.

P.S.: This is not an excerpt. These are just my thoughts. 🙂