Every day, thousands of tourists and commuters cross Tower Bridge. But very few notice the historical gem discretely nestled in between the rows of lamposts.
On the north side of the Victorian era bridge is a chimney, painted bright blue to look like its adjacent lamposts, a symbol of 19th century London’s industrial underbelly.
For decades, bridge guards would warm their hands in a coal fire room tucked beneath the bridge, with the smoke being fuelled up through the chimney and out across the Thames.
But by the 1950s, Londoners had become sick of the London smog and the government passed the 1956 Clean Air Act which meant only smokeless fuels could be burned in certain, central areas.
But over fifty years later, long after the coal fire has been removed, the chimney remains, offering Londoners a quaint reminder of what the city used to be like.
Tower Bridge, a Grade I listed building, was completed in 1894 in response to demands for a new river crossing downstream from London Bridge.