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London Bridge - North Side

Started by starcross, Apr 03, 2016, 02:34 am

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Apr 03, 2016, 02:34 am Last Edit: Apr 16, 2016, 11:58 pm by starcross
I've found an original 1910 Ambulance Post No.1 version of City of London Post 18‚Äč in the video London Early Morning People Going To Work (1933) from British Pathe.

Its located on the Northeast Side of the Bridge at the entrance to the building. The Bridge and the sidewalk are completely different now than in 1930. However the building itself is unchanged and still has all of its decorations so it is without a doubt the correct location.  

This was replaced by an Ambulance Post No.2 supposedly in 1927, then again in 1965 by the PA3 Posts.

CoL 18 - Bridge Ambulance Post No1 - Colored.jpg
CoL 18 - Bridge Ambulance Post No1.jpg


Apr 03, 2016, 06:53 am #1 Last Edit: Apr 06, 2016, 03:48 pm by hb88banzai
Oh, that's very nice.

Have only come across one other pic of one of these early Ambulance Posts, and it was nowhere near as clear a shot (the one eventually replaced by CoL 43 at its original site on the centre of the circle at the southeast corner of St. Paul's Cathedral).


Apr 03, 2016, 12:34 pm #2 Last Edit: Apr 17, 2016, 11:37 pm by hb88banzai
Of course both the 1939 Survey and the later OS maps put the later CoL 18 on the west side of the roadway outside the northern end of Fishmongers' Hall, while this film shows the 1907 Post on the east side and closer to the Bridge's footing.

More interestingly, CoL 18 does show up on all four large scale OS maps from 1952 to 1968 (next earlier was 1920), but it is always labeled as a "PCB" and is drawn as a Box sized object. So, is this replacement for the above pictured earlier Ambulance Post perhaps another CoL Box instead of a Post?


Apr 09, 2016, 04:13 am #3 Last Edit: Apr 09, 2016, 05:03 am by starcross
Until Tuesday I didn't even know the Square Mile had boxes. It's written on the picture even and it still didn't sink in all those years ago.
Of course this was before 2012 when Bunker's book came out, so I didn't know what I was looking at. I might have clued in had I seen it in 2012 because the lantern is the same as the Ambulance Post No.2. This image predates even our Database endeavors or I might have posted it here much earlier than 7 years later.

I can't tell you anything about this image except I saved it and an Edinburgh Box image back in 2009.
However, that being said why go for blurry images when you can see in perfect Clarity?


My best guess is someone had a photograph and then photoshopped it to enhance it.
So you might even figure out the location by looking at the background.

The website in the watermark has this to say:
SCOTLANDSIMAGES is a picture library project featuring images from Scotland's national collections.

The National Records of Scotland, in partnership with The National Library of Scotland, National Museums Scotland, The National Trust for Scotland and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, have developed this image library to make available for licensed reuse selected images from the extensive, and often unique, holdings of Scotland's national collections. Read more about ScotlandsImages.

Currently it is not possible to search the ScotlandsImages image library online but you can still make image research enquiries to the project partners. How to make an image research enquiry."

It really begs the question how I downloaded from them in 2009.
In anycase the file ID is AAA00659.jpg so maybe contacting them and asking what they know about it is the best way to go. Because there are no photographs on that website now.


That's absolutely amazing - thanks for this!

It's really a very nice design. Kind of a cross between an Edinburgh Box and a Met Box. Plans for it have to exist somewhere, in some dusty archive, but perhaps that's just wishful thinking.

I've counted five of these so far, excluding the "Police Cabin" (CoL 1) on the grounds of the Tower of London, which we don't know yet what it actually was. I have yet to do an exhaustive search for them though.


Apr 09, 2016, 06:39 am #5 Last Edit: Apr 09, 2016, 06:41 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: starcross on Apr 09, 2016, 04:13 am
It really begs the question how I downloaded from them in 2009.

Well, according to the Internet Wayback Machine, in July of 2011 the site capture was just the web site with the "Under Construction" blurbs on it. The next capture taken on 3rd September of that year is of the site as it looks today. The periodic captures taken prior to July 2011 (the next earliest is in December 2010) there were still images on the site, and the earliest captures are from 2008 when there were images on the site.

So at a guess, when you found your images in 2009 there were still plenty to choose from. Unfortunately now even with the Wayback Machine all of the images - or what were images - are only blank rectangles with little LittlePlus.jpg symbols in them, so even those images are no longer retrievable. (Lucky you grabbed yours when you did!)

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


Apr 09, 2016, 07:24 am #6 Last Edit: Apr 09, 2016, 08:18 am by hb88banzai
You know, looking at the position and the details of the buildings, there's a possibility that this is the London Bridge Box that replaced the Ambulance Post No. 1 that was on the other side of Adelaide Place/King William Street (CoL 18 at the north end of the bridge).

OS maps show the Box was up against the low wall outside the north end of Fishmongers Hall with a clear view over Lower Thames Street below to the buildings beyond, which seem a possible match in appearance and layout as well.

I'll have to try to hunt up better photos than the blurry 1947 aerial view I have of that Box and its surroundings (30 Sep 1947 - Source) --

CoL 18--London Bridge, north side-Box--(Aerial photo--30 Sep 1947--MedResCropped)-(EAW011155).JPG

You can just barely make it out at centre frame between the shadow from Fishmongers Hall in front and the chasm of the drop to Lower Thames Street behind.

The number and spacing of windows on the building behind Box match those in the retouched portrait shot Starcross posted, but it's too blurry to tell if the architectural details are the same. The building seems a bit close there compared to here, but variations in lens focal length can play hell with perceptions of distance in photos.


Apr 09, 2016, 08:08 am #7 Last Edit: Apr 09, 2016, 09:47 am by hb88banzai
Ask and ye shall find, I guess...

I had forgotten about this one - a slightly better aerial view from 11 months later (24 Aug 1948 - Source) --

CoL 18--London Bridge, north side-Box--(Aerial photo--24 Aug 1948--HiResCropped)-(EAW018326).JPG

Box is much more visible at centre frame, and the building behind does indeed selectively have a balcony visible on the same window relative to it as in the money shot photo (noting that you can tell from how the shadow from Adelaide House falls across the road and hits the building that the Box's ground level is one story below the heavy horizontal detail on the building behind, right where it should be to match with the balcony two stories up from "ground" level).

The architectural details on the more ornately decorated windows above the balconies also seem to match.  Note that the Box also has its narrow side to camera (they were rectangular in plan rather than square like met Boxes), just as in Starcross' closeup photo.

Not sure about the building on the left next to the building in question, can't see enough of it to be certain (what seems like the building next door that looks set back too far is actually behind these). The OS maps certainly show that building block as extending to the same frontage level as the building behind the box, and with a small lane between, so who knows.

So, seems we might just have a match here to CoL 18.



Apr 16, 2016, 09:54 pm #8 Last Edit: Apr 17, 2016, 11:38 pm by hb88banzai
I've come across a clear aerial photo of the Police Box for the Middle Era.

We've had some discussions about this Box when the subject came up in CoL 10 - Smithfield Market .
HB maybe we can merge those Messages into this topic they don't have much to do with that the market after all.

However I think this is enough to call this a clear placement for the photo.
The railing and the building are clearly a match with this level of clarity.
The box itself clearly has the same Crest on the door as well.

The Original Photo:

Here is the Aerial Photo showing the same architecture with some nice clarity.
Source: Britain from Above - EAW000629 - 10th May 1946
CoL 18 - Police Box - Crop.jpg
CoL 18 - Police Box .jpg

Here is a modern Streetview Showing the Fishmongers Hall is still there and the Railing is a match.
Of course the building behind was demolished, which means the pedestrian walkway was extended straight at some point.
I think that road work will likely have resulted in this box being removed.
However I can't get a clear enough OS Map to make any determination either way on a date.
In fact the box location itself is covered by a watermark which is a bit rubbish.

CoL 18 - Police Box - Streetview 2015jpg.jpg

I did some additional research and in 1968 they took down the old London Bridge and made this new one.
The old one was sold in part to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where it's been setup over a canal.
The bridge still has the original maker plates, and they have a lovely City of London Boundary Dragon to keep the Bridge Company.



Apr 23, 2016, 05:09 am #9 Last Edit: Apr 23, 2016, 05:10 am by starcross
The interesting thing about this photo is that it clearly shows the Back of the box for the first time.
It also has a nice flat look to the top of the Box, so in theory we should be able to measure the Building Railing that still exists and get a rough height for these boxes.

I'm leaning towards 4' at the Door, 5' at the sides, and about 9' tall with another 1' for the Lantern.
I don't think these are the 10' tall monsters that the Met had, they have that height similar to Edinburgh.

Source: Collage - 49457 - 1966
Fishmongers' Hall, Upper Thames Street, City of London: London Bridge elevation
CoL 18 - Box - Collage 49457 - 1966.jpg


Apr 23, 2016, 03:17 pm #10 Last Edit: Apr 23, 2016, 03:23 pm by hb88banzai
Another view of this Box (21 March 1959) --

CoL 18--Fishmongers Hall--21st March 1957--CBHETN.jpg

You can see by this blowup that it would have been a near perfect head on shot of the door end of this Box if it hadn't been for that gentleman walking in front of it --

CoL 18--Fishmongers Hall--21st March 1957--Blowup.JPG

We may not have to wait to measure the railing to get a reasonably accurate estimate of size. My impression is that the top light fixture is the same as that used on the AP2 posts. If so, then as we have those measurements from the plans it shouldn't be difficult to extrapolate the other dimensions using one of the better photos.


Quote from: hb88banzai on Apr 23, 2016, 03:17 pm
We may not have to wait to measure the railing to get a reasonably accurate estimate of size. My impression is that the top light fixture is the same as that used on the AP2 posts. If so, then as we have those measurements from the plans it shouldn't be difficult to extrapolate the other dimensions using one of the better photos.

The only issue with that is the general arrangement we have on Drawing 60347 isn't very accurate on all dimensions. The Drafter messed up the all the Heights, more of the Widths match when scaled than the heights do. Therefore Only the Widths are accurate in my eyes. This makes the marked 1'-1" lantern height more like a little under 1ft.

However, the other sheets 60348 through 60351 still exist apparently in the Telecommunications Heritage Groups Resource (THGR) Archive. I've requested access but it might take awhile.

The Lantern details are listed as 4-11, 13, & 19 which should be on drawing 60351. The detail drawing should have much more accurate dimensions than the General Arrangement.

We can only wait and see, otherwise I'm betting measuring the railing will be easier to obtain.


I know from the Trech drawings that the drawn dimensions often didn't match the call outs. In all cases, though, the call out dimensions were correct (just not enough of them for a complete picture). Could this be the case here? First pass with the calculator and all the vertical call outs seem to be internally self consistent, or have I missed something?


Apr 24, 2016, 03:39 am #13 Last Edit: Apr 24, 2016, 03:41 am by starcross
Quote from: hb88banzai on Apr 24, 2016, 03:03 am
First pass with the calculator and all the vertical call outs seem to be internally self consistent, or have I missed something?

Depends on how you are doing your scaling. I have mine literally full scale in AutoCAD my drafting Program. When I drop the Dimension line in the dead centre of the Drawn dimension lines I loose several inches on the Vertical Heights.

All the Widths across all the different sides all match however.

So the Total height from the ground line to top of the lantern is listed as 7'-9.5" where I measure at full scale 7'-3 7/8" or just 7'-4" for arguments sake that's still a 5.5" difference.
The lantern is listed at 1'-1" and I get 11.75" at full scale, even accounting for the outside of the drawn dimensions and line thicknesses I can't get it to agree to that size.

Which is why I would trust the properly drawn and dimensioned detail drawing 60351 over the General Arrangement.  

If you make the Lantern 1'-1" exactly which is what we would use to scale the box, the AP2 plans then go from a shown height of 7'-9.5" to a measured 8'-1" almost 4 inches too big instead of 5.5" to small as I measured.
As you can imagine it makes all the width dimensions oversized too. the Main Box has a listed depth of 8.25" but now it measures 9.25" only 1" off but still. The width of the main box is listed as 15" but now is 16 5/8".

Which is why I went with the width dimensions to scale my full size print. This is because when scaled by the widths there are more dimensions that agree with the dimensions on the drawing.

Easiest way to verify which is correct is to measure the stonework at CoL 33 and compare it to the photographs we have the AP2 there. We would also need a much better photo of the AP2 there the one you have is a bit blurry from the website.


I'm not actually talking about scaling at all vis-a-vis the plans. I'm saying that when in doubt, perhaps we should go with the dimension call outs.

It's easy to screw up a drawing drawn only to scale, and even after it's drawn in the scanning process. If a drawing says a certain dimension is supposed to be "x" number of feet, the Trench plans have taught me that more likely than not this is correct no matter what the drawing shows when compared to the scale it's supposed to be drawn in, or even other parts of the sheet (I mean some plan views aren't even square on the Trench drawing!).

Have you determined if all the vertical measurements on the AP2 are off by a certain scaling factor - ie, is the variance consistent proportionally, or does it vary from one part to another? If fully consistent and proportional, then we could rescale the plans vertically to the correct call-out heights and correct it that way. All an assumption that the numbers as written are correct, but seems a perfectly reasonable assumption when they are all internally self-consistent as they seem to be here (comparing numbers to numbers, not numbers to the drawing).

Also curious, do the 39" x 26" dimensions for the trim lines as spec'd in the margins conform properly to how it measures out in CAD? If not, then obviously some error must have occurred somewhere in the duplication and/or scanning process, but if so, then the error must have been in the original drawing.