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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
19th March 1944 Tippett's oratorium Child of Our Time, premieres in London
The bridge featured in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Location: Southwark Bridge, Southwark
Description: Southwark Bridge is an arch bridge for traffic linking the district of Southwark and the City across the River Thames. It was designed by Ernest George and Basil Mott, and built by Sir William Arrol & Co., opening in 1921.
The bridge is owned and maintained by Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation.
The previous bridge on the site was designed by John Rennie, opened in 1819, and was called the Queen Street Bridge. It became the 'Iron Bridge' to London Bridges 'Stone Bridge'.
That bridge held the record for the longest cast iron span - of 240 feet (73m).
Initially tolls were charged to cross the bridge, but it became toll free in 1864.
Halfway along the current bridge on the Western side you can find a plaque:
Re-built by the Bridge House Estates Committee of the Corporation of London
Opened for traffic by their Majesties
King George V and Queen Mary
6th June 1921
Sir Ernest Lamb CMG, JP Chairman
Basil Mott, CB Engineer
Sir Ernest George RA Architect
Trams had tracks over Southwark Bridge until 1952.
Southwark Bridge is mentioned in both Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend by author Charles Dickens.
It appears in many films but plays a central role in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.