Thursday, 26 February 2009

Crossings over the River Thames 20: Lambeth Bridge

February always seems to catch me out when it comes to the my journeys along the Thames. It's the lack of days. You see, if I am running late on the Crossings, I always have the 30th and 31st of a month to visit the Thames. But in February, there is no such luck. Four weeks exactly (except for last year) makes February the tightest month of the year in terms of my journeys down the River.

So round a slight curve in the river from Vauxhall and onto the dinky little Lambeth Bridge. Opened in 1932, this is the second incarnation of a crossing on this site and was recently listed in order to preserve its uniquely pinkish status.

Now, the bridge is coloured pink/red in as a homage to the House of Lords. Allegedly. While Westminster Bridge, further downstream is coloured green as a homage to the House of Commons. Allegedly. Still, the views from this narrow little bridge (two lanes, one bus lane) are actually quite spectacular, and due to the lack of nearby tube stations, surprisingly devoid of the hoards of tourists that normally take over the bridges further downstream. If you want to take a photo of the river, this is your chance. Just do not expect some cute chick to come wandering past you...

Oh yes, you can see this is the beginning of 'real' London. None of that crappy suburban tat we have been witnessing on the way up here!

One more note of interest about Lambeth Bridge. Pineapples. Yes. The Brazillian native itself is lovingly honoured at Lambeth Bridge. Four plinths, two at each end stand adorned with a pineapple on top of them. For good reason. They honour two Lambeth residents John Tradescants (snr) and John Tradescants (jnr) who were the first people to cultivate the pineapple in England. You really don't believe me...well, that's what the Vauxhall, Kennington and Oval community resource guys say, and I like their story! You see, you get to learn something everyday with me...

(Pineapples in front of Millbank)

Getting there and away:

The nearest tube stations are a bit of a hike away. They are Westminster and Victoria, which also happens to be one of the great London rail termini.

Buses include the 87/N87 on the northbank only, and the 77 & 344 (24 hour) on the southbank only. The following routes cross the bridge itself: 3/N3, 507 and the C10.

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