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Waterloo Bridge at Twilight



A different point of view to yesterday's picture


I used the 50mm F/1.8 here instead of the trusty 17-40L because I wanted more reach.




The name of the bridge is in memory of the British victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The views of London (Westminster, the South Bank and London Eye to the west, the City of London and Canary Wharf to the east) from the bridge are widely held to the finest from any spot at ground level.


The first bridge on the site was designed by John Rennie and opened in 1817 as a toll bridge. The granite bridge had nine arches, each of 120' span, and was 2,456' long, including approaches. Before its opening it was known as 'Strand Bridge'. It was nationalised in 1878 and given to the Metropolitan Board of Works, who removed the toll from it. Serious problems were found in its construction and the new owners reinforced it.


By the 1920s the problems had increased. London County Council decided to demolish it and replace it with a new structure designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The new span was partially opened in 1942 and completed in 1945. The new bridge was the only Thames bridge to have been damaged by German bombers during World War II. The building contractor was Peter Lind & Company Limited. The work force was largely female and is fondly known as the "ladies bridge". It is constructed in Portland stone from the South West of England; the stone cleans itself whenever it rains in London.

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Taken on June 16, 2006