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Saturday 25th October 2014
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Why is hay suspended under Barnes Bridge?

barnes-bridge.jpgQuestion

Barnes Bridge is being renovated at the moment and we were wondering why a bale of straw is hanging under each arch. Why is that? Is it traditional?
Ben, Barnes

Answer

** Definitive ** - REVOKED
Name: Stephen, Streatham
Qualification: I know the answer!
Answer: It’s a Roman tradition to warn shipping that bits may fall off the bridge as it is being repaired. I have a photograph of Tower Bridge with bales of hay when it was being mended.

** Definitive **
Name: Dan, Barnes
Qualification: I work on the river
Answer: That’s wrong. It’s actually because the scaffolding protrudes into the arch. Therefore, the bale of hay is there to warn that there is a restricted height.