Trance-Elbow's photos More of Trance-Elbow's photos

Thursday, 17 August 2006

Works Outing to Tower Bridge

Today my colleagues and I went on a trip to the Tower Bridge Exhibition in London. It was all in the name of team building and the fact that, as a department, we had successfully completed a particular project. It also helped that we made a good profit, which helped pay for the trip.

I felt a bit awkward about accepting the invitation as I didn’t work on the project myself, having only joined the department two months ago. They were fine about it all and happy to have me on the trip. I’m so glad I went back there after my “Wilderness Years”.

We left the office just after lunch and caught a train to London Bridge Station. From there it was a short stroll along the south bank of the Thames to Tower Bridge. I of course got I left behind, as I was taking photographs as I went.

The entrance to the exhibition is via the bottom of one of the taller towers on the north side of the bridge. We had a touristy type group photo taken before we all crammed into the lift, which took us to the top of the tower. Here they had a short film about the tower and models of the various designs put forward for the bridge. Obviously we could easily tell which one was chosen. One of them was quite bizarre, utilising four sliding platforms.

From here we walked onto the Eastern high-level walkway, which offers some fantastic views of east London. They have even provided small camera sized opening windows to allow un-hindered photography. A great idea and something I’ve not seen anywhere else.

All the way along the walkway there are display boards, with pictures and information about the bridge and its 117 year history. There were also glass cases containing various Victorian toys and games. At the southern end of the walkway was another film show about the bridge, a lift to the roadway below and the entrance to the western high-level walkway. The western walkway was much the same as the eastern one, again with pictures, information boards and views west of Central London.

We exited the southern tower via the lift mentioned above and found ourselves back out on the bridge at road level. On the pavement was a painted blue line, which we were told would lead us to the engine room and museum. Being in “Silly Mode”, I decided it would be cleaver to walk on the line no matter what. A bit childish of me, but that’s the sort of stupid things I do. As before I ended up getting left behind the main group. I was taking yet more photographs.

The entrance to the engine room and museum is located below road level on the south side of the bridge. There is another engine room, which is not open to the public, on the north side. Once in side we saw two steam boilers, which feed two steam engines. These are no longer in use as the lifting power was replaced with electro-hydraulic system in 1976. One of the engines was moving very slowly, but not with steam un-fortunately and the second was static. It’s a shame that they are no longer running, because a steam engine like this is at full pelt is quite amazing sight. Almost like a living creature. Quite beautiful really, but then again I’m an engineer after all.

The museum was full of various, long since disused artefacts and displays explaining the various working of the bridge lifting system. After a very quick dash through the gift shop, it was a short walk to the restaurant for dinner. On the way I got left behind for the third time.

After dinner a number of our party dashed to the front of Butlers Wharf for photos of the bridge lifted and closing. We missed the opening part.
I wandered along the south bank in the direct of London Bridge, taking photos as I went. By 7pm I had filled my memory card with no fewer than 148 photos, some of which you can see in this blog.

If you wish to see some more of the photographs that I took during my trip, please visit my Photoblog - London Catagory.


Click Here to E-Mail Me Direct

Click Here to Visit my Photoblog

No comments:

Post a Comment