Bascule bridges, Viola Beach and the Götheborg

We live very close to a double bascule bridge, which is a lifting bridge/drawbridge with two parts which swing upwards when a tall mast has to pass under it.

Here is our bridge. When it lifts, no car can get anywhere near the water because both sides are lifted.

A little way further down our canal there is a single bascule bridge, with only one lifting part. This one is a bit more iffy to me because one side has nothing except barriers between the bridge opening and the water.

Danviksbron, in Södermalm, Stockholm from a drone (2016)

In Södertälje (a nearlying municipality) there is a really scary lifting bridge that works by lifting horizontally, leaving both sides of bridge with a suddenly-ending road and a huge drop to the water below

There are, of course, barriers to prevent you driving over the edge, but it has always given me the creeps when I have been directly behind the barrier.

This is the bridge where the four members of UK group Viola Beach and their manager were killed. They went off the bridge into the icy water in the middle of winter (February).

No one ever found what caused the accident as there were no drugs or alcohol involved. They went off the bridge at 56 miles per hour.

If I were in Sweden for the first time ever, and driving this road in the middle of the night on a different side of the road than I was used to, I am not sure I would have understood how the bridge worked, or even that it was raised. I hope that I would have stopped when I saw the warning lights, but you never know. I am just glad that most lifting bridges around us are the traditional kind.

And speaking of traditional, on a more cheerful note – did you see the Swedish ship Götheborg travelling under the lifted Tower Bridge a few weeks ago? It was magnificent!

The Götheborg travels around the world, so if she comes near where you are, I recommend a visit. Find her timetable here

Götheborg of Sweden is a sailing replica of the Swedish East Indiaman Götheborg I, launched in 1738. It is the world’s largest operational wooden sailing ship. She was built using old, traditional techniques, and it was made as close to the original as possible. One small change was that the headroom of the deck was increased by 10 cm, since today’s seamen are taller than their ancestors.

The East Indiaman Götheborg is classified as a passenger ship sailing under the ordinary Swedish flag. But when in port, the ship is entitled to fly the old swallowtailed version of the flag, the SOIC flag (Svenska Ostindiska Companiet, “Swedish East India Company”), that the original vessel sailed under.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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