Tuesday, July 24, 2018

On 30th December 1952, an incident described as ‘1 in 150,000’ by the Daily Mail occurred when Tower Bridge began to open with a no.78 double decker bus on it. (thanks Tony)

Albert Gunter, the driver had been operating the bus at about 12mph when suddenly the northern arm of the bridge began to lift. Gunter realised that he had no option but to speed up otherwise the vehicle would have fallen into the River Thames. Luckily the south side was slower to lift which meant that the bus dropped the much more preferable several feet and miraculously remained upright.

Of the 20 passengers, 4 were treated for minor injuries on the bridge, 10 were taken to Guy’s Hospital including the driver and the conductor, and 11 year old Peter Dunn of Bermondsey suffered a fractured collarbone.

The aftermath of the Tower Bridge incident saw Albert Gunter becoming something of a minor celebrity. His buddies nicknamed him "parachute", and the West London Observer reports that Gunter was chosen to judge a driving competition, but the best is that after 7 months of being afraid of travelling on public transport due to the incident, Miss May Walshaw finally conquered her fears by taking the same route with Gunter across the same bridge.

Two weeks later she was married with Albert Gunter as her best man!



  1. I'm sure it's a legit story but that black and white photo looks pretty hokey. It looks like the newspaper "literally" cut and pasted the photo.

    1. Exactly what was done... it's a true story, but no photos were taken by accident at that exact moment... no one walked around with cameras back then. Of the 3 sources I linked to, one of them made the image, and they are clear about that, to just illustrate the action, and what is meant by "jumping the gap" between ramps

    2. I believe the Tower Bridge Exhibition has a photo of the bus after the landing but I couldn't find anything on the net.

    3. thanks for looking!