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23/03/2009

"Misty Morning, Albert Bridge", London


The Albert Bridge is a road bridge spanning the River Thames between Chelsea and Battersea in London, named in memory of Prince Albert of Saxw-Coburg-Gotha, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria. The bridge opened first on 31 December 1872 but closed again shortly after, to re-open on 23 August 1873. The designer was Rowland Mason Ordish, who conceived a rigid suspension bridge with a length of 216.4 m, width of 12.5 m and a centre span of 121.9 m.
In 1884 Sir Joseph Bazalgette strengthened and modernised Albert Bridge, rendering it more like a conventional cable-stayed bridge. The bridge came close to being replaced after the Second World War, but a concerted campaign led by, among others, Sir John Betjeman led to its conservation. In the 1970s, central supports were added by the Greater London Council to save the structure from collapse. Weight restrictions have been in place since Bazalgette's time, as have notices requiring soldiers (such as those from nearby Chelsea Barracks) to break step when marching over the bridge for fear that mechanical resonance or other effects might damage the structure. The bridge was given protection as a Grade II* listed structure in 1975.
"Misty Morning, Albert Bridge" is a 1989 single by the British-Irish folk rock band The Pogues.

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