Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.

Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.
Image by Cameron Lyall, GNU license Wikimedia

19 July 2011

Part 2 The Hungerford Bridge

The current Hungerford footbridge replaced a previous one. It’s narrow walkway clung to the tracks and it was made of a similar material. Eventually this bridge was replaced with the modern model using a cable-stayed system to open the bridge up to air and support a heavier wider path.

The Bridge has an excellent view of the Thames. The most prominent sight is the London Eye which seems to match the bridge. But the most striking feature to me is the contrast between the footbridge and the rail bridge. The differences in construction and composition have a lot to say about industrialism and post industrialism.

The heavily latticed intricate design of the rail bridge reflect the industrial era and evoke this eras ethos. While the modern bridge. With it’s sleek, simple design don’t do justice to the strength of the bridge. Granted the loads both carry are no where near equal modern train bridges look more like the Hungerford footbridge than the accompanying rail bridge.

This bridge links the Westminster area with Jubilee park and in a larger sense it’s a straight shot from the London Eye and Trafalgar Square, two popular tourist site.

I walked the bridge and then came back a few hours later to photograph the sunset. I got a beautiful series of pictures as the light changed. On the bridge vendors set up shot. I could’ve gotten a painting, or friend fried peanuts. But I just donated a few pence and listened to jazz music.

Every few steps on the bridge someone is taking a picture which is understandable with the breathtaking views available. But the view I got the most out of was the bridge itself. It I believe is a great illustration of the differences between the post industrial and the industrial. It’s user centered, well-designed, well made and provides a useful logistical purpose.

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