December 2013


Rolling up the bridge in London…

Rolling Bridge

London’s Rolling Bridge.

When I was a kid my Mom used to tell me that late at night, when people went to bed, the sidewalks were rolled up.

I have no idea where this idea comes from, but it’s a vivid image for a 4 year old – and one that has stuck with me ever since.

Whilst in London, I finally got to see it happen – or something like it happen. London is home to all kinds of quirky things and given that I’ve seen all the major attractions that interest me at least once, the happy news about November’s trip is that I didn’t really have a long list of things-to-do, rather I’d assembled a list of things that I wanted to do and picked at the list based on how I was feeling at any given moment.

That’s how I ended up taking the cable car across the Thames out at Greenwich.

A word of caution regarding the cable car: there’s nothing worth doing at either end of the ride.

That said, I did have one “must do” thing on my list: visit the Rolling Bridge.

Rolling Bridge

London’s Rolling Bridge, Rolling!

It’s a pedestrian bridge crossing an insignificant inlet along a canal that is sort of behind and to the right (from the south) of Paddington Station. Theoretically it rolls up so that boats moored in the inlet can get out to the canal. Practically speaking, I suspect that the last time a boat was moored in the inlet was, uh… never.

Rolling Bridge

Rolling Bridge, going up.

Therefore, to ensure that it works, it is rolled up every Friday at noon.

Rolling Bridge

Almost all balled up.

And I was there to see it – they actually did it twice. Clearly it is not the highlight of my trip – that would be seeing Book of Mormon for the third time – but it was a surprisingly nice thing to watch. There were maybe 30 people watching when it started – the vast majority part of a (high?) school group from France. By the end of the second roll-up (and down), it was down to two or three people, including me.

Rolling Bridge

London’s Rolling Bridge, Rolled.

I’d babble about the bridge, but you can learn more at Wikipedia: The Rolling Bridge.

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