Tower Bridge, London’s most famous bridge is 125 years old this year, it is 143ft tall, incorporates 31 million bricks and is stepped on by 40,000 people everyday! But for all the marvellous facts there’s only really one story anybody wants to hear. Is it true that a double decker bus once cleared the gap as the bridge was opening?
On the 30th December 1952, Albert Gunter was happily going about his day job, driving the number 78 bus over Tower Bridge from Shoreditch to Dulwich, when, to his utter surprise, the road in front of him seemed to drop away. He quickly realised that the bridge was opening and his bus was on a rising bascule!
Albert slammed his foot down on the accelerator and managed to jump the gap and successfully reached the other side, getting all his passengers across safely. All the passengers were thrown from their seats and as a precaution, everyone on board was taken to hospital but, thankfully, there was only one person badly injured: the bus conductor, who broke his leg.
Gunter became a minor celebrity and received a £10 bonus (about £260 today) for his quick thinking and even went on to be the best man at the wedding of one of the passengers!