Showing posts from 2010

City of London (poem)

In Year 43, the folks from Rome Decided to call 'Londinium' home.
They settled on a site on a hill near a river In a place that’s so cold, it caused them to shiver.
They built loads of roads and a temple or two. They built and they built, but before they were through,
Queen Boudicca attacked and left thousands dead! But the Romans survived it, because they all fled.
The Romans built a wall after that episode To keep out invaders and to protect their gold.
Around Year 400, the Romans left – every single one! They must’ve missed the Italian sun!
Next into town, the Anglo-Saxons came And decided ‘Lundenwic’ would be the new name.
In 851, the Danes rowed into town And burnt the City right to the ground!
Those Vikings attacked, in battle after battle Which caused London Bridge to shake and to rattle.
Of course, as you know, London Bridge did fall down, And then 'Lundenburgh' became the name of this town.

Tower Bridge (Part 2)

First, they built the Towers
The steel for the towers was made by William Arrol and Company in Scotland, and it was shipped to London and brought up the river on barges.

There wasn't much space to store equipment and materials, so the steel was brought up the river when it was needed. Crews of workers set about 200 rivets per day – by hand. There are two million rivets in Tower Bridge – so you can do the math.The work took a long time!

Slowly but surely, the steelwork rose from the Thames like a huge black skeleton. Each tower had four steel pillars. The two pillars on the land-side of the tower would support the suspension chains, while the river-side pillars would support the high level walkways.

When the structure was in place, workers built the Walkways.
When the pillars were finished, workers started building the high level walkways. They worked 46 metres above the river, without safety nets!

Boats would pass below them, so workers ha…

Tower Bridge (Part 1)

From the bottom up! It's not a joke. When you look at Tower Bridge, you see a magnificent structure, but did you know that more of the bridge is below the water than above the water?

You start with the foundation. And in the case of Tower Bridge, you start deep, deep, deep under the surface of the Thames - 10 metres below the surface of the water, in fact.

On 22nd April 1886, divers started preparing the riverbed for the massive piers. It must have been a scary job - after all, it was 1886. They didn't have scuba gear and safety devices and computer equipment. The divers wore leather suits with metal helmets, and they were connected to the surface by air tubes. They used hand tools and shovels.

Above them, on barges, other workers built caissons. What is a caisson? I'm glad you asked.

A caisson is an open-ended watertight metal box, with sharp edges.

Workers lowered each caisson into the river - down, down, down - until it rest…

The Story of Guy Fox History Project

On 23rd March 2000, Kourtney Harper received a letter from the Peabody Trust, which notified her that her application for a Leaders for London Millennium Grant had been successful.

You see, Kourtney had had this vision, as far back as 1998, to create a cartoon character who would educate children about London's culture, art and heritage. She had this crazy idea to create an illustrated magazine for local children, and she had an even crazier idea that the magazine would be FREE.

In January 2000, she saw an ad in the newspaper: "Do you have an idea that would benefit your local community?" 
("Yes, I do!' she said to herself.)

"Do you require funding to make your idea a reality?"
("Sure. That would be really good.")

The ad said, "Contact the Peabody Trust to discuss your idea."

So Kourtney contacted the Peabody Trust to discuss her idea.

A nice lady named Manjeet Edwards helped her fill in the application. They put together let…