Hannah Griggs, Edward “Ted” Forrest, John Chalk – cook, foreman, rivet boy. These are just some of the names that appear on Tower Bridge's new blue line. It establishes an intriguing link between the imposing Towers and the Engine Rooms, the structure and the science, and is a celebration of the ordinary people who worked at the Bridge since its construction.
Our recent research has brought the names of hundreds of people to light. People who helped build, maintain and operate the Bridge. Bronze plaques with names alternate with decorative roundels that carry ornamental elements of the Bridge: its nuts and bolts, flowers, dragons, pistons…
In a first for Tower Bridge, we worked with pupils from The City of London Academy Southwark to create these decorative plaques. Forming part of their Art GCSE, the students took inspiration from the Bridge and its many intricate details to create their designs and constructed the wooden moulds required for plaque manufacturing. Under the expert guidance of artists and crafts-people from London Sculpture Workshop, a wonderfully diverse and creative set of decorative plaques have been created and installed across Tower Bridge.
Together with the fascinating stories now on display in the Engine Rooms this exciting new feature will shed light some of the unsung heroes who kept an icon in motion.
Explore our the blue line of workers for yourself next time you cross Tower Bridge.
If you have any of your own stories or family connections to Tower Bridge, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Dirk Bennett, Exhibition Development Manager