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Thursday, 20 May 2010

"London Bridge Myth Falling Down"

I was checking out Janey`s report about "Magnificent Tower Bridge" and came across the comments page where Janey said about missing out the word ‘Tower’ when buying London Bridge by mistake. This got me thinking, I grew up with this story but later on found out that is was just a myth. So I thought I would find out the truth and share it with you all.

In 1967 the Common Council of the City of London placed the London Bridge on the market and began to look for potential buyers. On 18 April 1968, London Bridge was sold to the Missourian entrepreneur, Robert P. McCulloch of McCulloch Oil, for US$2,460,000. The myth that McCulloch bought the bridge thinking it was Tower Bridge is denied by Councillor Ivan Luckin in an interview, You can read it here:

The bridge was taken down and each piece was numbered for the rebuild (No Rezzer in real life). The bridge was rebuilt and spans the Bridgewater Channel canal that leads from Lake Havasu to Thomson Bay, in Arizona. It is the centrepiece of a theme park in English style, complete with a Tudor period shopping mall. It has become Arizona's second-biggest tourist attraction, after the Grand Canyon.

Even though this is a myth about London Bridge, there have been con men that make a living from selling national treasures to gullible American tourists. Arthur Ferguson a smooth-talking Scotsman, sold Nelson's Column (£6,000), Big Ben (£1,000 down payment), and Buckingham Palace (£2,000 down payment) in the early 1920's. He found it so easy to con our cousins from over the pond that he emigrated there in 1925. He got to work straight away and sold the White House to a rancher for yearly payments of $100,000 on an instalment plan. His downfall was when he tried to sell the Statue of Liberty to a visiting Australian, who went to the police. The game was up for Ferguson and he was sent to jail. He was released in 1930 and continued his work in Los Angeles until his death in 1938.

Spooks Blackburn

(Editors note - Many thanks to Spooks for this great article. The picture of Tower Bridge above was taken at The Doctor Who New London Village owned by Kat Kassner)


Alt Lexington said...

i laughed when i read about the con man
does that make me a bad person

Janey Bracken said...

Makes me one too then, because it made me smile! He must have been very good at conning people!

Janey :)

Hibiscus said...

Guess I'm a bad person too. Great article Spooks, I'm looking forward to more.

Anonymous said...


Are you saying that I don't really own Stonehenge??

A fellow put me on a payment plan years ago and I was supposed to take possession next year!

Rats! I was going to move it here and use it for a party center!!!


Janey Bracken said...

Aww Drax, I told you not to believe everyone you meet!! And you could have spent that money more wisely on new shoes!!!
(not sure how you were going to move Stone Henge though!!)

Janey x