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Tower Bridge - Mind the Gap ! Virtual Cache

Hidden : 05/04/2022
Difficulty:
1.5 out of 5
Terrain:
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   virtual (virtual)

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Geocache Description:


Tower Bridge,  London

PLEASE NOTE;

STRICT REQUIREMENTS FOR CLAIMING THIS VIRTUAL.

 NO GAP in your photo = NO CLAIM. Simples !

AND

 Either you are in your photo or your Geocaching name is

(as explained below !)

 

Tower Bridge is one of the London’s most Iconic and famous landmarks which is located over the River Thames and close to the Tower of London from which it gets its name.

It is a bascule and suspension bridge over the River Thames. It has two towers in Victorian Gothic style, that are both connected with two walkways that are constructed so they can resist horizontal forces from suspended parts of the bridge. The base of each tower holds machines that lift two parts of the bridge so bridge can allow the passing of river traffic beneath it.

Building started in 1886 and lasted almost 8 years, eventually completed in 1894.  It has 70,000 tons of concrete in its foundations and some 10,000 tons of steel which are covered in Cornish granite and Portland stone as a means of protection for steel structure in a Victorian Gothic style which was used to aesthetically integrate Tower Bridge with nearby Tower of London. Also used in its construction were 31 million bricks and 2 million rivets.

The Prince and Princess of Wales officially opened the bridge on 30th of June 1894. The bridge connected Horselydown Lane, today Tower Bridge Road, with Iron Gate, today Tower Bridge Approach.

The bridge is close to the harbour so it was necessary for it to be made in a way that it can allow the passing of ships. Machines that lift bascules were hydraulic steam machines until 1974 when they were replaced with electro-hydraulic drive system. Some of the old steam machines are left as a tourist attraction and is a part of the museum tour of a Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge is still in function and is still a major crossing of the Thames. Daily, some 40,000 people cross it in both directions. While it was controlled manually from the beginning. In 2000, a computer controled system was installed so the bascules could be raised and lowered remotely. Bascules are raised around 3 times a day and a 24 hours' notice is needed from a ship that needs pass underneath.

Aloft, the once used walkways were closed in 1910 as they were little used, however they were reopened in 1982 as a part of now Tower Bridge Exhibition. The Exhibition shows photos, displays and films to tell a history of Tower Bridge and is housed in bridge’s towers, walkways of the bridge and in Victorian engine rooms.

The bridge was originally painted brown. Since then it has been grey and in 1977 it was painted red, white and blue in commemoration of the Queens Silver Jubilee. In 2008, Bridge Tower entered more renovations that lasted four years. Metal parts were stripped of original paint and were repainted in today's light blue. New lights, that are both functional and atmospheric, were installed in walkways and the suspension chains were repainted with six layers of protective paint. Next renovations are planned in 25 years.

Little known facts;

  • Tower bridge is not London Bridge. That is further up river.

  • The two sections in the central span are called bascules – and they raise up to an angle of 83 degrees. It’s pretty impressive when you see it. Incidentally, bascule is derived from the French for see-saw – not hard to see why. And they Weigh Over 1,100 Tons Each. Ships have the Right of Way. As long as they have given the folks that operate Tower Bridge over 24 hours notice. Everyone, and that means everyone, has to wait for a ship to pass – even Bill Clinton who famously had to wait for 20 minutes while a barge sailed through in 1997. They don’t care who you are, Tower Bridge is opening for a ship and you will just have to wait.

     

  • The walkways before being closed in 1910, were frequented by ladies of the night. Yes the once red light district of London!

  • In 1952, a bus driver Albert Gunter was casually driving the 75 bus across the bridge when he noticed something odd happening.

    It turns out that Tower Bridge was doing what it’s best-known for… starting to open, but with the bus on it. Gunter had to put his foot to the    floor and make the bus leap over the opening gap. He made it to the other side, safe and sound and was given the next day off for his bravery and quick thinking. Good old ‘Bertie. What a hero!

The Virtual Challenge.

  • Go to the given coordinates on the western walkway.

You MUST be at the section where the two bridge sections meet.

  • Take a photo of yourself at this place with your photo looking WEST. Your photo MUST include either HMS Belfast or the Tower of London and THE GAP (handrail or walkway)

  • Please Note;  NO GAP in your photo = NO CLAIM. Simples !

  • If your on your own, take a photo of your hand at the gap and add a second selfie looking up the River from the same location.

 

OR......

 

If you are shy, I will permit a photo with your geocaching name written on a piece of paper along with the date of your claim, this photo MUST also show the gap in the hand rail & walkway as shown in the photo below. No Exceptions!

Please Note;  NO GAP in your photo = NO CLAIM. Simples !

 

Photos are NOT allowed from travelling vehicles.

To qualify you must be standing on the western walkway

where you can see either HMS Belfast or the Tower of London.

Photos from the above walkway or from under the bridge are ok as long as they are supported by a second photo of you at the bridge.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Tower Bridge and it was as memorable to you as it was for me.

Please note, all non qualifying logs will be deleted in fairness to those cachers who actually follow the simple instructions.

 

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Virtual Rewards 3.0 - 2022-2023

This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between March 1, 2022 and March 1, 2023. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards 3.0 on the Geocaching Blog.

 

 

 

 

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

[Find the place where the floor and the handrails do not join together. Thats the only acceptable place to take your photo]

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)