Photograph: Waterloo Bridge builders union meeting, Waterloo
Producer: Suschitzky, Wolfgang
Accession number: IN15427
Measurements: whole: 232 x 284 mm
Disputes over the development of Waterloo Bridge had lasted ten years from the old bridge's closure in 1927. Work began to demolish the old bridge in 1937 and a foundation stone taken from it was laid for the new bridge in 1939. The government paid 60% of the cost of building the replacement, which was designed by George Gilbert Scott.
Work on the new Waterloo Bridge started just before the outbreak of the Second World War. The men seen here soon became unavailable for construction work, as they went off to join the forces.
With the men absent, women took their places to complete the job. In 1942, the 'Ladies Bridge' was opened to pedestrians and two lanes of traffic. Waterloo Bridge was finally completed in 1945.