RIP Westminster Bridge

by Instant Noodle


The Act has at length passed for the total destruction of Westminster Bridge, and another bridge is to succeed, which, if it is really to succeed, must be as unlike as possible to the existing bridge, which has been a complete failure. The career of this bridge has been downward from the first, and its continuance has been a phenomenon similar to that which is illustrated by the old saying that “a creaking door hangs long upon the hinges.” Westminster Bridge has been, as long as we can remember, “going, going, going,” and it has been a matter of constant wonder that it had never yet “gone.” We have never on traversing it been able to look back upon it with the respect due to “the bridge that carries us safely over,” for we have always felt that the safety was due rather to good fortune than to any merit the bridge itself had to rest upon.

We cannot help feeling delighted that an act of Parliament will at last put this unhappy old bridge out of its misery, instead of sanctioning the further infliction of the painful operations to which it has been subjected. The poor old bridge is no longer to be maimed and mutilated, but it is to be made away with once and for ever. It has already undergone the process of trepanning, by having something removed from its crown, and it has long ago been able to boast of nothing better than wooden legs, by the process of giving it timbers to stand upon, as well as wooden arms, by the substitution of wood-work for its old original balustrades. We are delighted that the old nuisance will not be suffered to die in its bed, or rather in the bed of the river, into which it daily threatened to tumble. Westminster Bridge has, indeed, had a fair trial, for it has been tried by its piers, and its condemnation has been the inevitable result, for its piers have been, perhaps, the chief cause of its downfall.

Shame; it looked quite a grand old thing.

(July 1853)