ALICE MAUDE FANNER (1865 - 1930)
Search Lights, Chelsea Bridge, 1917
Country: United Kingdom
Medium: Watercolour and bodycolour
The present watercolour shows World War I search lights over London as seen from the old Chelsea suspension bridge The first Chelsea Bridge was proposed in the 1840s as part of a major development of the marshlands on the south back of the Thames into the new Battersea Park. Initially called Victoria Bridge, it did not open until 1857 and operated initially as a toll bridge. The bridge was narrow and structurally unsound, leading the authorities to rename it Chelsea Bridge to avoid the Royal Familys association with a potential collapse. In 1926, with the bridge unable to handle increased volumes of users, caused by population growth in the surrounding area, it was proposed that the old bridge be rebuilt or replaced. Between 1934 and 1937 it was demolished and replaced by the current structure, which opened in 1937.