[… “news in 1973” continued from Part IV]
I read it in the Sunday Papers…
Other news from 1973 includes…
March 17th: The Queen opened the modern London Bridge. Spanning the Thames, it crosses from Southwark to the City area at the western end of what is commonly referred to as the “pool of London”. A bridge has existed at this very location since Roman Britain in 50 AD.
The most famous bridge to grace this site was engineer John Rennie’s construction which opened in 1831. It’s famous because of the decision, in 1967, of London’s council to try and sell it.
American entrepreneur Robert P McCullogh bought it for almost $2.5m in 1968. It is often claimed that McCullogh believed he was actually buying the MUCH more iconic Tower Bridge. Regardless, he had the bridge taken apart, brick by numbered brick, and rebuilt in Arizona to form part of a dodgy “Tudor period shopping mall”. Somewhat sadly, it is now Arizona’s second-biggest tourist attraction…. after the Grand Canyon!
The modern bridge was built to be more functional than its numerous predecessors and to stand the test of time. (Presumably longer than the prior bridge’s 136 years?!). It is a very simple 3-span design and, thanks to new structures in the City (the Gherkin most notably), it has become iconic in its own right, featuring regularly in films and TV shows.
March 24th 1973: Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” is released. I have already covered this monumental album.
March 26th 1973: Women are admitted into the London Stock Exchange for the first time. Not, I hasten to add, onto the actual trading floor… that would have been unheard of for the 200-year-old (evidently) misogynistic institution. Indeed full modernism/integration would take another 28 years, when a woman (finally) landed one of the senior posts, Clara Furse becoming chief executive in 2001.
November 14th 1973: Princess Anne married ‘commoner’ Captain Mark Philips at Westminster Abbey. Anne is the Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter and was once third in line for the throne but following other births and marriages in the royal household she is now tenth in line of succession. With the title Princess Royal, she has always been recognised as one of the most hardworking of the royals carrying out some 700 charitable engagements a year, mostly for one of the 200 organizations she is patron to.
I remember watching the actual ceremony unfold on a TV screen in the window of Rumbelows, our local electrical store. Whether this was so I could watch it in colour or not I don’t know, but I seem to remember all schoolchildren were given the day off.
That’s it for my little “news” diversion. Like I said at the beginning I feel a little surprised that my diary rarely touched on the ‘outside world’ – I guess unless it directly affected me it didn’t feel that important? Strangely though I feel I now find out and retain more than I ever did then from teachers or my folks. For instance, I never really understood the “irish troubles” until I took the time to research the history about them for this blog, and can now see the viewpoint of both sides in the conflict. Back then I just thought they were all being mad bastards for the hell of it.
Ah well.. back to the diary for a few more nonsensical entries….