Old Images of Waterloo, London

Waterloo Bridge 1817

Glimpse the past through old images of Waterloo in London, England.

In 1932, engineers were worried about the safety of Waterloo Bridge, opened in 1817, and it was demolished soon afterwards.

The Original Waterloo Bridge on Film in 1932

The first bridge on this site was a toll bridge which opened in 1817, so you paid each time to cross it. Unfortunately, by the 1840s it was a known suicide location, showing that mental illness was always more widespread than many people imagine.

The toll was removed in 1878, when Waterloo Bridge was nationalised. Within six years, problems with the structure were identified, and these had necessitates significant and expensive structural repairs in the 1920.

In the 1930s, the Waterloo Bridge we see in this vintage film was demolished.

Its replacement partially opened on Tuesday 11 March 1942. But given wartime conditions, and the curious decision to have the new bridge designed by someone who was not an engineer, it took until 1945 to fully complete the new Waterloo Bridge.

Engineers question safety of Waterloo Bridge; new bridge under construction at Hampton Cou…(1932): British Pathé (YouTube)

About the author