Saturday, December 10

Hammersmith Bridge @ Night

My favourite bridge, the Hammersmith Bridge. The tide is 'out.'

In June 2000 the bridge damaged by a Real IRA bomb planted underneath the Barnes span, or far side of my photo. The blast four-years after a previous attempted bombing by the Provisional IRA, but following two years of closure and traffic misery, the bridge reopened with weight baring restrictions.

The IRA's first try to destroy the bridge in '39 foiled by the quick-thinking hair dresser, Maurice Childs, of Chiswick, who was walking home in the early morning and noticed smoke and sparks coming from a suitcase. He opened it to find a bomb which he tossed into the river; the explosion sent up a 60-foot plume of water. A second device exploded causing girders on the west side of the bridge to collapse and shattering windows in nearby houses.

Maurice awarded an MBE for his courage while Eddie Connell and William Browne given jail sentences of 20 and 10 years, respectively, for the bombing.