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Richard W 18 April 2018 10:33 AM

London Bridge: A tale of two cities

A nice little video on the 50th Anniversary of the 1831 London Bridge being sold to the developer in Arizona. (I'd not realised it happened so recently). There's some great archive footage of the bridge in its new position.

I'm putting it in the Urban Legends section because although it doesn't reference any of the myths about this directly, the film shows that some of the misconceptions can't be true - the idea that McCulloch thought he was buying Tower Bridge (there's a photo of him standing next to the bridge in London), the idea that he was somehow conned and lost money over it (apparently they'd already made three times their money back on real estate by the time the film was made) and so on.

(For Douglas Adams fans, it's also got a decent example of what he and John Lloyd called Prince's Risborough in The Deeper Meaning of Liff:


Originally Posted by Douglas Adams & John Lloyd
Prince's Risborough (n.)

The right of any member of the Royal Family to have people laugh at their jokes, however weedy.


Richard W 26 September 2018 10:51 AM

The BBC like this anniversary. Here's another, long article with lots of little video clips and great pictures:

The bridge that crossed an ocean

This one does mention the "wrong bridge" legend:


A rumour that McCulloch - a millionaire and successful businessman - had “bought the wrong bridge” probably didn’t help, although it was, of course, complete nonsense.

“I know for a fact they knew exactly which bridge they were going to buy,” says Michael.

“Do you think anyone in their right mind would look at Tower Bridge and think they could take it apart and bring it here?

“But RP and CV felt that by allowing that rumour to perpetuate, it gave them continued publicity, so they let it go.”
Again, you can't actually read the article and think the Tower Bridge rumours were true! Although apparently the residents of the city (which had already started to be built) at first thought the idea that McCulloch had bought London Bridge to put there was equally ridiculous.

Really interesting pictures of the bridge being rebuilt, too. They actually built it more or less flat on the ground, with the arches filled with sand and soil, then dug out the channel underneath afterwards! The river under it didn't exist before they put the bridge back up - it was re-routed.

Ooh, and as a bonus:


At this year’s Academy Awards, host Jimmy Kimmel made a jibe about Lake Havasu while encouraging Oscar winners to keep their acceptance speeches short.
But "former “Jeopardy” heavyweight Ken Jennings came to Arizona’s defense" by tweeting:

Fortunately, though, the joke has apparently increased interest in the town overall.

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