Can you name these bridges over the River Thames in London?
From front to back, they are Southwark Bridge, Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge. The missing ingredient is London Bridge, which is hidden behind the train.
When I took that photo of the bridges, I was standing on a footbridge connecting St. Paul’s Cathedral (on the north bank of the Thames) with the Tate Modern Art Gallery (on the south bank). That bridge is officially known as the London Millennium Bridge, but it has struggled to shake off the nickname of “wobbly bridge” (click here for scientific explanations of why it wobbled on its opening day). You can see the bridge itself in the next photo of the cathedral.
The older, classic buildings of London don’t seem to have nicknames, but 21st century buildings just can’t get the same respect. Now, before a skyscraper is even finished, it is named, sometimes officially, like “The Shard”, and sometimes unofficially, like the buildings in the next photo….which are, from left to right, “the cheesegrater”, “the gherkin” and “the walkie talkie”.
The “walkie-talkie” is under construction at 20 Fenchurch Street, where they are proud of their “building with more up top”, even if it bounces heat from the sun on to buildings on the next street – click here for reports of melted cars and scorched carpets.
I don’t know if these nicknames show that Londoners are cynical or affectionate about our skyscrapers. What happens in other cities? Do you have gherkins of your own?