Wednesday, August 1, 2012

London Bridge

‘January 26 [1827].--My rheumatism is almost gone. I can walk without Major Weir, which is the name Anne gives my cane, because it is so often out of the way that it is suspected, like the staff of that famous wizard, to be capable of locomotion. Went to Court, and tarried till three o'clock, after which transacted business with Mr. Gibson and Dr. Inglis as one of Miss Hume's trustees. Then was introduced to young Mr. Rennie, or he to me, by [Sir] James Hall, a genteel-looking young man, and speaks well. He was called into public notice by having, many years before, made a draught of a plan of his father's for London Bridge. It was sought for when the building was really about to take place, and the assistance which young Mr. Rennie gave to render it useful raised his character so high, that his brother and he are now in first-rate practice as civil engineers.’

In 1799, a competition to design a replacement for the existing London Bridge was held.  John Rennie, from East Linton, in Scotland won the competition.  Work began in 1824, under Rennie’s son, also John, who Walter Scott records meeting (Scott’s Journal) on January 26th, 1827.  New London Bridge opened August 1, 1831.

According to, thirty current olympic athletes share an August 1st birthday.  Among them, from the US (where I'm from), Asjha Jones, Jeff Larimer, and Stuart Mcnay.  And from host UK, Karen Carney. But to have their picture taken with Rennie's London Bridge, all will have to travel to Arizona.  Like the bridge it replaced, Rennie's bridge became outmoded, and was dismantled and shipped to the US in the 1970's.  London Bridge was recommissioned in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, in 1971.

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