TWO icons of the Upper Pool of London have had their birthdays in the past two days, with London Bridge having its 41st birthday and HMS Belfast turning 76.
The present London Bridge was officially on March 16th in 1973. The modern bridge was built to replace John Rennie's London Bridge that was opened in 1831 and was later sold to an American businessman.
The modern London Bridge was designed by architect Lord Holford and was built in the same position as Rennie's bridge at a cost of £4million. The official opening was attended by HM The Queen where she was greeted by dignitaries and crowds of local schoolchildren.
A limited edition solid silver medallion was struck to mark the occasion.
HMS Belfast was launched on this day, March 17th, in 1938 at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. The Town-class cruiser went in to service with the Royal Navy in August 1939 and within 3 months she was struck by a German mine and had to spend two years in repairs. She also served in the Korean war and was decommissioned in 1963.
She was given to the HMS Belfast Trust and opened as a museum on Trafalgar Day in 1971.