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Paperback is now out
The excellent Bridge tome. Time Out
Years of research and years of wearing out his shoes walking across the city's bridges has paid off... The book is packed full of great tales. South London Press
Cross River Traffic by Chris Roberts
Roberts's tone is pleasantly relaxed. Adopting a chatty style, he's never slow to qualify an architectural detail with an anecdote, still managing to hold back enough information for sections on "Brief Bridge Facts", which detail the vital statistics, and some notes on the engineers and architects. Hammersmith bridge is fairly useless ("In the space of thirty years (it) was closed, repaired, opened, bombed, closed, re-repaired, bombed again and eventually re-opened"); Waterloo is "the crossing of romantics and suicides", and the Millennium bridge offers diversions such as the Budgie Man, a street entertainer whose show is "Part Blue Peter, largely avian and completely bonkers". There are very few books that inspire readers to go and physically exert themselves, but this one should have people criss-crossing the Thames until their shoes wear out. Independent.
This delightful little book sketches biographies of each of London's bridges, from Hammersmith in the west to Tower Bridge in the east, that span what the author, in Conradian style, calls the "haunted, uncivilised force" of the Thames. Roberts, who has also written an ebullient study of nursery rhymes, Heavy Words Lightly Thrown, wears his research lightly with a witty, conversational tone (Hammersmith Bridge is "enjoyably nuts", and has survived "even the terrifying ordeal of the scathing words of art critic Brian Sewell"). Guardian.
'Roberts lives at Elephant and Castle in South London- roughly equidistant
from every bridge from Tower Bridge to Vauxhall- which must make him
particularly well- qualified to write this entertaining and well- illustrated
What's on in London
'This book is a delightful history of London's bridges and the photographs alone make it well worth a look.' Canal Boat and inland waterways
Roberts takes each bridge in turn, giving much splendid detail about their history and construction details . Publishing News
A delightful history of London's bridges' Live in London