See the workers of Tower Bridge immortalised in the Blue Line that leads from the Towers to the historic Engine Rooms. 

The Blue Line shines light on some of the unsung heroes who kept an icon in motion. 

Top tip: See what designs and names you can spot when walking from the Towers to the Engine Rooms. 

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Blue Line repainted

What is the Blue Line?

Between the exit of the South Tower and the Engine Rooms, there is a blue line painted on the pavement.

Set into its surface are a series of 80 bronze plaques. They alternate between those with names and those with ornamental designs.

Following those names, much can be gleaned about the history of the Bridge, about lost professions, and about social change.

Hannah Griggs Blue Line plaque

Who is featured on the Blue Line?

Our research has brought the names of hundreds of people to light. People who helped build, maintain, and operate the Bridge.

For example, Hannah Griggs, who was employed as a cook in the early days of the Bridge. Fittingly, her name plaque is followed by the stylised description of some eels in a basket, which refers to a traditional London dish, eel pie.

Read about Hannah Griggs

Further down the line is John Chalk, a rivet boy who was 14-years old when he started working on the Bridge. 

Read about the Riveters

Also featured as some of the early Bridge Masters, many of them military men who brought their attitudes and sense of discipline to the running of that enormous steam engine that the Bridge was for much of its life.

Read about the Bridge Masters

How were the plaques made?

Weather-beaten and trodden by millions of feet, the plaques have an air of permanence and belonging. However, they have only been here since 2016.

They are the outcome of a unique collaboration between Tower Bridge, a local school and a London foundry and workshop.

The original idea was to create a link between the Towers and the Engine Rooms that hinted at the history of the Bridge. It was an opportunity to remind visitors that Tower Bridge is, and always has been, a place of employment, with close links to the local communities where many of its workers came from.

To re-emphasise those connections, to bring them alive for a younger generation and take them right up to the present it was decided to involve the City of London Academy Southwark in the designs of the ornamental plaques.

Under the guidance of the charismatic Giles Corby and his London Sculpture Workshop, Year 10 students designed the plaques, using their favourite technical or architectural details from the Bridge, worked up the models and maquettes, and attended the casting and installation of their plaques on the Bridge.

The result is a beautiful metaphor of how the Bridge keeps on linking past and present. As one of the students said during the opening ceremony: 

‘Wow, now I am part of the Bridge forever! I’ll be able to bring my kids here!’