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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Bridge Broke Down


.

Young ladies dressed for a day of sport crossing a log over a creek, Canunga, Queensland: photo by George Jackman, n.d. (State Library of Queensland)

London Bridge is broken down,
Broken down, broken down.
London Bridge is broken down,
My fair lady.




Loading timber into railway wagons, Mayne Junction, Brisbane: photo by George Jackman, n.d. (State Library of Queensland)

Build it up with wood and clay,
Wood and clay, wood and clay,
Build it up with wood and clay,
My fair lady.



Loading timber into railway wagons, Mayne Junction, Brisbane, Queensland. Timber support framework has been constructed to assist in the assemby of the steel structure of the bridge. A concrete pylon is in the centre of the view and the steel construction for the bridge has been commenced in the background. A large gantry crane is mounted on the framework and is lifting the heavy steel girders into place: photo by George Jackman, 1937 (State Library of Queensland)

Wood and clay will wash away,
Wash away, wash away,
Wood and clay will wash away,
My fair lady.



Early stages of the Story Bridge construction, Brisbane. Workers are standing precariously on a single girder whilst manoeuvring heavy material with block and tackle pulleys. Heavy wire cables run along each side of the girder and also threaded through a square pulley system attached to the side of the girder. Kangaroo Cliffs are clearly visible in the background and the Brisbane River flows below: photo by George Jackman, c. 1937 (State Library of Queensland)

Build it up with bricks and mortar,
Bricks and mortar, bricks and mortar,
Build it up with bricks and mortar,
My fair lady.




Locomotive derailment on the Gold Coast, Queensland: photo by George Jackman, n.d.. possibly 1930s (State Library of Queensland)

Bricks and mortar will not stay,
Will not stay, will not stay,
Bricks and mortar will not stay,
My fair lady.



Men working on the cargo ship Barossa while in port at Brisbane. ("SS Barossa was heavily damaged in Darwin Harbor by the Japanese during their raid on Darwin on February 19, 1942. Aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service took part in the bombing and strafing of the city and harbor. SS Barossa would be salvaged" -- from a comment): photo by George Jackman, n.d  (State Library of Queensland)

Build it up with iron and steel,
Iron and steel, iron and steel,
Build it up with iron and steel,
My fair lady.



Looking from the Brisbane River toward the Story Bridge under construction, Brisbane. With the small ship Coopa tied up at the dock in the foreground: photo by George Jackman, c. 1936 (State Library of Queensland)

Iron and steel will bend and bow,
Bend and bow, bend and bow,
Iron and steel will bend and bow,
My fair lady.




Painters working on repainting the bow of the Barossa while in port at Brisbane: photo by George Jackman, n.d. (State Library of Queensland)

Build it up with silver and gold,
Silver and gold, silver and gold,
Build it up with silver and gold,
My fair lady.


Firemen on their way to fight a blaze at Mt. Gravatt, Brisbane, Queensland: photo by George Jackman, c. 1940 (State Library of Queensland)

Silver and gold will be stolen away,
Stolen away, stolen away,
Silver and gold will be stolen away,
My fair lady.


Gentleman inspecting the Walter Taylor Bridge at Indooroopilly, Brisbane: photo by George Jackman, c. 1938 (State Library of Queensland)

Set a man to watch all night,
Watch all night, watch all night,
Set a man to watch all night,
My fair lady.




Motor vehicle on the brink of toppling into the water, Gold Coast, Queensland: photo by George Jackman, n.d., possibly late 1930s (State Library of Queensland)

Suppose the man should fall asleep,
Fall asleep, fall asleep,
Suppose the man should fall asleep?
My fair lady.




Grammar School boys welcome in the new year at school,
Brisbane
: photo by George Jackman, n.d. (State Library of Queensland)


Give him a pipe to smoke all night,
Smoke all night, smoke all night,
Give him a pipe to smoke all night,
My fair lady.




Indooroopilly Bridge at night, Brisbane: photo by George Jackman, n.d. (State Library of Queensland)



Farewell to passengers leaving on the Stratheden, Hamilton Wharf, Brisbane: photo by George Jackman, n.d. (State Library of Queensland)

London Bridge is broken down: traditional, text as given in Iona and Peter Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, 1951

7 comments:

TC said...

From London Bridge to Brisbane -- a long fall or a bit of a stretch?

And if the bridge is out, we might take the bus. Unsteady as we go.

Up, down, turn around/Please don't let me hit the ground...

Hazen said...

That photo of the firemen rushing to the fire has a surreal quality to it, like a shot from a Terry Gilliam movie.

I never knew there were so many verses to “London Bridge”.

I wonder if the Go Betweens were from Brisbane?

Nin Andrews said...

Wow, that's amazing. I like the ladies crossing the log.

Wooden Boy said...

Plenty of washing away happening here.

My parents had that Opie book; I used to spend far too much time turning through the pages (when I was a scrap of hardly anything).

The children's faces waiting for shadows to pass over.

I love the strain in Sumner's voice

Unknown said...

I have been enjoying this all day. And among all the falling limbs, power failures, and threats of future falling limbs and power failures there had been precious little to enjoy lately. Curtis

TC said...

Yes, the Go Betweens got their start in Brisbane.

Grant McLellan obit

It was Wooden Boy had put me in mind of TGBs, the night previous, and that in turn led to the senior citizen wandering off into Queensland. Any excuse.

The intrepid and hardy girls crossing the log put said citizen in mind of the one Cub Scout expedition his ragged urban troop endeavoured, a trip into the rough bush along the Des Plaines River.

There was the arduous advance through rusted car-part-littered weed tangles and across brown industrial-runoff waste-water rivulets, toting our rucksacks laden with hot dogs and marshmallows, essential wilderness rations.

The weirdly clear image emerges of a fellow scout named Billy Beaver, a large lad, in knee pants, failing to negotiate one of those log-bridge creek-crossings.

TC said...

I'm reminded that the "point" of the anecdote was the soggy buns.