London’s Tower Bridge ⇒ was built and ready for use by 1894. The centre section still opens to allow tall vessels to pass. The bridge lift schedule ⇒.
A little history:-
1912 – during an emergency, Frank McClean had to fly between the bascules (lifting sections) and the high-level walkways in his Short biplane, to avoid an accident.
1952 – a London bus driven by Albert Gunter had to leap from one bascule to the other when the bridge began to rise with the number 78 bus still on it. – Harry Potter would have been proud.
The bridge is next to The Tower of London ⇐ and both are very close to Tower Hill Underground rail station.
Entrance to the bridge interior is from the either the north or south tower. Entrance from the north tower is easier because it means that one goes down the only section of stairs. I do prefer stairs that go downward. 🙂
Do keep your ticket for later entrance to the old engine rooms.
At the base of the north tower there is a lift which leads to a small exhibition/film area.
Then to the two walkways. Each walkway has a section of glass floor..
One small step for man.
One giant leap ~ these boots need a clean.
Younger feet seemed to have less apprehension doing this. Perhaps because when I was young glass was more fragile.
At the top of the South Tower and then down the stairs to the next lift.
Then out of the South Tower.
. . and follow the blue line on the pavement to the old engine rooms.
Coal fired steam was used to drive an hydraulic pressure pump.
Pressure in the system was accumulated under weights.
These are the engines which pumped water under the accumulators.
When there was sufficient accumulated water pressure it was used to power the bascules (central raising section) drive engines. Since 1974 an electrical driven hydraulic system has been used. Tours ⇒ of the less accessible interior are available.
Now on the South Bank there is access to HMS Belfast, a number of eateries and the extensive South Bank attractions ⇐ .
York House Gardens and Riverside
21 pics with more statues. York House Gardens are on Sion Road (in Twickenham) off Richmond Road on the H22 bus route passing right outside Richmond rail station (sss-simple). For essential works, the gardens will be closed from 6 pm on 17th to 23rd July 2016 and from 1 pm on 23rd July 2016.
Near the entrance is this lawn overlooked by York House (not open to the public). Along the other side of that wall is a path that leads to:-
… what looks like a perfect lawn but is really a pond covered in algae.
Turning back to the end of the first lawn, there is a bridge.
Over the bridge is a lawn and small pond.
Turning right there is:-.
Florence and the gang. The players (perhaps you would like to give them names) are:-
The director is taking a little time out for domestic chores.
“Salad or bedding, bedding or salad ? Both ! yay. 🙂
Facing the tableau and turning left one comes to the upper reaches of the Thames looking down river. On the right is Eel Pie Island which is inhabited by artists. There are cruises along this stretch of the river, passing the other side of the island, going to Hampton Court from Westminster or Richmond (the second is recommended), more here ⇐.
Continuing along the path in this direction comes to a dead-end but the other way comes to:-
… Champions Wharf. Turning right and then right again, one is on Riverside and passes:-
… Dial House.
Then, under the same bridge one passed over in York gardens. Caution: This is a no-through road, but residents have use of it so there is occasional traffic.
There is all-day lighting and, in the distance, is the White Swan Pub.
This is from just passed the White Swan with a beer garden to the left which is just on the river and occasionally gets a little covering of water. The pub is very popular so, if you would like a table/meal, it is good idea to book. For more about the White Swan and booking please click here ⇒.
Further along Riverside is the Orleans House Gallery. One can photograph inside but not when its closed which includes Mondays, which is when I was there. More information is here ⇒.
Continuing along Riverside to its end one could turn left and then right along a pathway to Marble Hill House, which is open for guided tours at weekends in the summer but I don’t have any information about photographing it. There is more information here ⇒.
Alternatively, one could turn right at the end of Riverside and take the Hammertons Ferry ⇒ (spring to autumn) across to Ham House ⇐ .
The ferry on its way back, with a very young pilot.
Characters at the Greenwich Tall Ships Festival
Characters (18 pics)
I’m a star. – Those on the other end of the lead were watching the river and had no idea what their dog was doing. She was drawing a little crowd of her own. The words “what a character” were often heard. She wins my first prize for “Character of the Festival”.
A close second comes :-
Please click on an image to expand and view a slideshow:-
Please click on an image to expand and view slide show:-
And, then click on
And, thank you for your visit.
The Tall Ships at Greenwich
The Greenwich Tall Ships Festival
14 pics. The Festival brought a group of tall ships up the Thames for the first time in 25 years. They met from all over the world at Falmouth and raced to Greenwich. During the last day parade the wind was not favourable to sail. Hats off to the skippers for making sail for the spectators, even though it meant expending extra fuel to make progress. There were 50+ taking part. Here are a few.
Dar Mlodziezy, which dwarfed all the other vessels, won the first in it’s class (A).
Duet won first in it’s class (B) and first overall. It is a yawl. That is, it has an additional mast/sail aft of it’s rudder. The design was originally created to add extra sail without breaking the design rules for it’s racing class. That, together with a big mainsail and two additional foresail(s) on it’s bowsprit, makes a very powerful rig that takes skill to handle well. The Cirdan Trust ⇒. Pictures under sail (updated) ⇒.
The Stavros S Niarchos won the communications prize for doing the most to aid the race schedule communications.
Tenacious was a mix of able bodied and less able bodied crew. They did well to gain third in their class (A)
The Golden Leeuw won the the Friendship Trophy for having contributed the most towards international friendship and understanding. They were also the most international crew and won the Young Trainee Award.
The youngest Captain (Tom Whiteford)
I couldn’t get the name of this one but it certainly caught everybody’s attention. Most particularly because it had a working cannon which they delighted in using, making everybody jump and producing great clouds of smoke. They even had the cheek to fire it in the vicinity of Woolwich Arsenal. In past days they would have been blown to bits.
The Royal Barge appeared two days earlier and is the one used for the Queens Jubilee. Sixty years in the same job and they didn’t even give her one with an engine. A close look at the those on the oars would indicate that they have probably been quaffing something.
Next, click on – The Festival and it’s characters.
And, thank you for visiting.
Thames River – Westminster to Hampton Court
22 Pics. With hindsight I would have traveled to Richmond (underground railway – District Line) and tried the alternative river service provided by Turks to Hampton Court. The journey would have been shorter (1 and 3/4 hours) and travels the more picturesque part of the river (including the above bridge).
There is only one company that provides Thames River travel all the way from Westminster Bridge to Hampton Court, that is WPSA. However I was not all that impressed. It is 3 and 1/2 hour journey, the upper deck seating uncomfortable, the engine noisy and the commentary full of irritating chatter. Added to which, the first part of the journey was not greatly picturesque apart from the immediate view of Westminster Palace (Pictures) which could have been seen/photographed from the south bank of the river.
Here are the pictures of the two legs:-
Westminster to Richmond
Please click on an image to expand and view a slide show:-
Richmond to Hampton Court
Please click on an image to expand and view a slide show:-
Palace of Westminster and Big Ben
6 Pics: The Palace of Westminster hosts the UK Parliament’s House of Commons and House of Lords. Visitor Tours and Photography Restrictions inside, outside is not a problem.
Alongside is Westminster Abbey. Visiting Westminster Abbey, where photography is not allowed inside. Both are right outside Westminster Underground railway station. Nearby, one can take a variety of river tours.
The fine detail of the palace exterior is not often seen, so here are some pictures. 🙂
The Thames at Windsor
The River Thames at Windsor offers a pleasant afternoon and a good follow-on from a visit to Windsor Castle. There are both Tour Boats and Hire Boats available. The tour boats provide a frequent 40 minute service and an occasional two-hour trip. I took the two-hour tour and thought it quite good value for money. Unfortunately there are no river trips from the City due to the many intervening locks. French Bros public boat trips. You can book online but you don’t have to. There are other hire companies included in Travel by Train, Map/Tour and Hire Boats. But first a word from our sponsor.
Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum.
Where’s Fred. It’s mine I tell you.
I say, they’re not so much wild fowl as slighty miffed. Mwa Ha.
First we go under the bridge and then we come back under the bridge. Good game.
Call that a duck.
Personally I prefer one of these. The upper deck is a simple array of chairs and they were quite happy for me to bring my own tea and sandwiches, bought from an outlet near to the ticket office. The lower deck is more plush with a bar and snacks.
The first part of the tour is quite pretty. It then gets a little dull for a while until after the lock. There is a commentary indicating places of interest and the homes of the famous.
I hope you enjoyed the tour and thank you for visiting.
Straight Up With A Twist
Well, I suppose the builders were grinning when they said they’d give it whirl. I should have known better really.
The United Emirates cable car traverses the river Thames in East London between the Royal Victoria Dock, on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and the North Greenwich Peninsula. It can be found on the Standard London Underground Map ⇒ at sector D8. From Greenwich Pensinsula there is a bus service to wonderful Maritime (Cutty Sark) Greenwich ⇐ which is on another branch of the Docklands Light Railway.
It makes sense to use an Oyster Card (touch in/touch out) as this will also save money on the London Underground/Overground and Docklands Light Railway.
BE AWARE: That if you forget to touch in with a card there is a heavy fine. If you forget to touch out when leaving a station, the maximum charge is deducted from your card.
A video of the view ⇒ shows that although it is partly obstructed by the tall buildings of Canary Wharf and lasts 5-10 minutes (according to time of day), it is nevertheless quite good value for money.
It is used for some commuting to and from work, so it is better to avoid peak times.
Thank you for visiting Freed From Time