Have you been to Tower Bridge recently? If so I hope you've enjoyed the glass floors in the high-level walkways and Baizdon's Tower Bridge 360 which is on sale as you go in and in the Tower Bridge Exhibition shop. News is that our splendid image of the bridge is now on a range of merchandise in the shop, rulers, book marks, chocolates and two jigsaws. This is a first for us and the whole team excited.
At Baizdon we are working on an interesting new product for the Tower Bridge Exhibition and, as part of the research for this, we get to go to a secret room in the South Tower - so secret many staff haven't been there! To reach it you have to climb a winding staircase and then bend-yourself-in-half and squeeze through a tiny doorway. You find yourself a small windowless room full of plan chests which, in turn, are all full of original drawings* of Tower Bridge at various stages of its construction. While our technical illustrator is soon in raptures about steel girder placement, bolt angles and accumulator cross-sections, I am transfixed by names and dates. 'Bridge Master Received 1959' is stamped on one, '16-11-36, Clarke, Chapman and Barry of Gateshead on Tyne' on another. I enjoy finding several documents with 'R.B. Hilton of Blackheath, SE3, 1921' (and immediately wonder if the practice still exists and whether it's near my house) but most of all I am delighted when I find 'The Office of Sir John Wolfe Barry & Partners, 1937'. The drawings are old and crumbling but the bridge they represent is standing strong and has gone on to become the Most Famous Bridge In The World. Sir John Wolfe Barry would be very proud.
*The original drawings all belong to the City of London and the majority have been taken to the London Metropolitan Archives where you can arrange to view them.
Great to see the new view guide on sale - Tower Bridge 360˚ is on sale exclusively at the Tower Bridge Exhibition - both as you buy entrance tickets in the North Tower and in the shop. Getting it ready on time for the launch of their new glass floors (11m long and 3.5m wide - fantastic, do go!) meant we were crazy busy, but in a good way. The final product looks great - there was so much work getting on the pictures - even the fun of hiring a boat three times to get the right shot from the middle of Thames! (The right shot being the bridge open, a sailing boat coming through downstream, the sun being out (trickiest of all - hence three tries) - oh and the Bridge Master wanted one or two buses going across the bridge... Getting the 360˚view to work and to look good is probably the trickiest shot we've done, Creative Director Johnny working relentlessly in post production, pushing photographer Adam ever onward to new heights of excellence! We continue to learn about papers and finishes - we are using a heavier paper and have gloss lamination one side (to show off the view picture) Matt lamination the other (gives a quality feel) and a spot varnish on the cover aerial shot (makes it stand out in shop!) The researchers and I know a whole iceberg of info for the one sentence that was finally chosen for each landmark! Anyway, it's out and everyone at Tower Bridge is pleased - I'm delighted. Now for the Monument (which will be out in March 2015).