Around the north side of Regent’s Park in London, between Little Venice and London Zoo, Regent’s Canal glides peacefully though a leafy cutting. Just west of the zoo, the canal passes beneath a bridge carrying Avenue Road into the park.
The three-arched bridge in question is attractive enough, if a little unremarkable-looking. Yet it has a violent past, as revealed by this excerpt from Jaspa’s Journey 2: The Pride of London:
Regent’s Canal continues to carve its stately way around the northeast rim of Regent’s Park. With the mansions left behind, the narrowboat slides lazily between steep, overgrown banks thick with trees and bushes. On the left, the single remaining towpath hugs the outside of the turn.
“We must be nearly there,” announces Ernest, excitedly. “That’s the Blow Up Bridge.”
The brick arches of the bridge soar over the artificial waterway, supported on twin rows of five cast-iron columns, positioned on either side of the canal.
“I’ve wanted to see it for myself ever since I first read about it,” the Ratses confides.
“Sounds like a strange name for a bridge,” says Bisckits.
“Yes. Well, its real name is Macclesfield Bridge,” Ernest explains. “Actually, it’s the second Macclesfield Bridge, which is the whole point. The first one was destroyed in 1874, when a barge carrying five tons of gunpowder exploded beneath it.”
“Yeah!” agrees Ernest. “They rebuilt it, of course. They were even able to use the iron columns from the original bridge – they survived the explosion, you see. But ever since then, most people call it the Blow Up Bridge.”
“Neat!” says Bisckits appreciatively.
Expand the minds of you and your children by travelling the World with Jaspa’s Journey adventure novels! The first three – The Great Migration, The Pride of London and Jaspa’s Waterloo -are now available in both paperback and ebook formats. Click here for more information.