Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Bridges Connect People

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Bridges Connect People

Article excerpt

SWANNELL

PETER SWANNELL

I HAVE always been interested in bridges.

I mean proper bridges that usually make it possible to get from A to B, often crossing a river or a road.

As a boy I lived not far from Hampton Court Palace Bridge, a beautiful, simple structure across the Thames and giving superb views of the Palace itself.

I used to marvel at the way the bridge 'blends in' with its surroundings.

It very elegantly provides cross-river access to thousands of people who use it every day.

It is just a very ordinary structure, I suppose, and one of hundreds that cross the Thames, but I have always enjoyed crossing it and taking in the views.

I am biased by my pre-Australia experience of living near a river that is made even more special by the structures that cross it.

If you have not done so already, and even if you have, persuade a rich relative to buy you a ticket to London, take an exhilarating stroll across London Bridge (brilliantly ordinary) and its near neighbour, Tower Bridge (unique and far from ordinary)! Yes!

Then take a warm coat and a river boat trip down the Thames to Hampton Court.

I'll lay odds that you will have very special day out!

It is astounding that these bridges, and many others, survived world wars and other atrocities to remain key assets for Londoners who hardly notice them as they rush to work.

When my family and I first came to Australia, August 1971, we found ourselves in Brisbane and, after a few days getting used to being surrounded by Australians, we bought our first Aussie house, in Jindalee near the Centenary Highway Bridge.

This elegant bridge was opened in 1964 to service the needs of the then new Centenary Suburbs of Jindalee, Mount Ommaney and Westlake.

In the infamous 1974 floods the bridge was badly damaged by a barge that blocked the flow of floodwater. …

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