The airbus is outlined in the skyline above Tower Bridge and near Big Ben a large flying saucer hovers menacingly, casting it’s shadow onto the square below, it looks set to swoop down on the people of the New London Village, taking no prisoners! Hold on a moment, did I say Tower Bridge, yes, Tower Bridge!! that beautiful structure known all over the world and one of London’s finest bridges. Sim owner Kat Kassner and manager Laredo Lowtide have been busy again. After re-creating Big Ben a few weeks ago they have now created this amazing SL bridge. Kat had mentioned building Tower Bridge when I went over to see her and Laredo, but I’m astonished at how quickly she has put this into action and New London is looking absolutely fabulous. I arrived in the sim, finding myself in a tardis at the entry point, nice feature! And from there you feel you are really in a Dr Who film set. My fellow avatars get right into the theme, as I’ve seen many Time Lords wandering around enjoying being able to virtually interact with their favourite tv show characters. Avoiding the Dalek, who was patrolling the grounds outside the Tower of London, I went over to see the fabulous new bridge and once again, just like Big Ben the detail is brilliant.
Of course building an SL version is a little bit cheaper than the original, although it would need the magic skills of Kat and Laredo to make such a good virtual copy. The real bridge cost £1,184,000 to complete and in the 19th century that was a lot of money!! (around about £100 million by today’s figures). Construction of the bridge started in 1886 and was designed by Horace Jones. Unlike using the very handy SL prims, the real bridge had over 70,000 tons of concrete sunk into the river bed of the Thames to support the two massive piers. More than 11,000 tons of steel was used for the framework and it took 8 years to complete. The style of the brick façade was changed when Horace Jones died and George D Stevenson took over the project. He used a more Gothic style of exterior thought to be more in keeping with the Tower of London, which is close by. The bridge was officially opened on 30 June 1894.
I’m not sure if Kat plans to sell copies of her bridge, but an interesting tale in real life concerned an American, Mr Robert McCulloch, who is rumoured to have purchased the less attractive London Bridge (which had been replaced in London in 1967) thinking it was actually Tower Bridge. He refuted this rumour later on and London Bridge was shipped out to Lake Havasu City in Arizona where it was reassembled. No doubt about it, Tower Bridge is a sought after construction in real life and once you see Kat and Laredo’s version you will want that one too for your sim!!