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The Extraordinary True Story of How London Bridge Went to America
Wed 10 May 2017, 17:30 – 20:00 BST
In this special LMA Book Group event open to all, author Travis Elborough will join us to discuss his book London Bridge in America: The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing. With a display of film footage and material from the archives, we will explore the City of London’s decision to put London Bridge up for sale in 1967 and its unlikely reconstruction in Arizona.
In 1967 – 50 years ago – The City of London Corporation put London Bridge up for sale.
Its purchasers were to be the American McCulloch Oil Corporation with the result that this London landmark was dismantled, shipped across the Atlantic and rebuilt, brick by brick, in a decidedly dry corner of Arizona.
Encompassing 2000 years of the capital's history and a most unlikely journey of over 5000 miles, Travis Elborough’s London Bridge in America: The Tall-Story of A Transatlantic Crossing, relates the remarkable true events surrounding one of the oddest incidents in Anglo-American relations.
With a cast that includes Fleet Street shysters, revolutionary radicals, frock-coated industrialists, Disneyland designers, Thames dockers, Guinness Book of Records officials, the odd Lord Mayor, bridge-building priests, gun-toting U.S. sheriffs and an Apache Indian, it is history at its most delightful and curious.
From the reviews:
"As much a social history as the story of the bridge, this entertaining book is packed with facts but its light, sprightly tone makes bricks and mortar a source of human interest." Sally Morris, Daily Mail.
"Wonderfully detailed… A fitting testament to the folly and wonder of human endeavour." Claire Looby Irish Times.
"Elborough’s book is a fascinating mix of social and architectural history, travelogue and pop culture, but it is his ability to bring to life the disparate and often eccentric characters involved in the story that stands out." Ian Critchley Sunday Times.
"An entertaining cultural historian of the Bill Bryson school…very interesting, and crammed with historical trivia." Helen Brown Daily Telegraph.
Acclaimed by The Guardian as ‘one of the country’s finest pop culture historians', Travis Elborough has been a freelance writer, author, broadcaster and cultural commentator for nearly two decades now.
Elborough’s books include Wish You Were Here: England on Sea and The Long-Player Goodbye, a hymn to vinyl records that inspired the BBC4 documentary When Albums Ruled the World. His latest, A Walk in the Park, a loving exploration of public parks and green space, was described by William Boyd as ‘a fascinating,
Next book group:
For the next book group on Wednesday June 14, we will be discussing Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor