Lego-loving couple show off a 21ft-long replica of Old London Bridge

Lego-loving couple show off a 21ft-long replica of Old London Bridge

December 19, 2021

Lego-loving Cambridge couple show off a 21ft-long replica of Old London Bridge in their living room after working on it four weeks, sometimes putting in 14 HOURS a day

  • A Lego loving Cambridgeshire couple completed a replica of Old London Bridge
  • Mike Addis, 63, and Catherine Weightman, 58 worked on it for four weeks
  • The festive model is 21-foot-long and now sits across the couple’s living room 

A couple of Lego aficionados have now completed a 21-foot-long replica of Old London Bridge after working on it for four weeks, sometimes putting in 14 hours a day.

The stunning creation, their 27th project, sits proudly in the sitting room of Mike Addis, 63, and Catherine Weightman, 58 from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

The replica of the bridge, which crossed over the Thames from 1209 to 1831, was made using 400,000 Lego bricks and stands at three-foot-high.

Mike Addis, 63, and Catherine Weightman, 58, pictured, proudly demonstrate their latest project, a 21-foot-long replica of Old London Bridge

The coupe’s replica of the bridge was made using 400,000 Lego bricks and stands at three-foot-tall in the middle of their living room

Mr Addis and Ms Weightman’s recreation of the bridge also includes 78 houses, 500 mini-figures, a castle and chapel.

Features also include guards patrolling the pay toll of the bridge and bakers and residents. 

However it only includes three quarters of the bridge’s entire span, as the full size wouldn’t fit in the house.

The Old London Bridge replica has a number of characters with the structure including a castle and a chapel

There are little figures of guards patrolling the pay toll of the bridge as well as other characters who are bakers, merchants and residents

Frost Fair festivities reimagined through Lego. The replica comes with 78 houses and 500 mini-figures

The model was inspired by Frost Fairs, which were held when the Thames froze over from the 16th century. 

Mr Addis, an economics teacher, said: ‘It’s probably our most impractical model because it’s right through the centre of the room.

‘It splits the room in two – there’s a foot gap at one end to get around to the other side of the living room.

‘We had a party recently with people on one side of the bridge and some on the other.

The festive replica was inspired by Frost Fairs which were held when the Thames froze over from the 16th century

‘Most people are in awe because it’s so big.’

Mr Addis is now planning to fit himself, Ms Weightman and 12 family members – including young children – around the carefully constructed model for Christmas.

He added: ‘We have the settees on one side but the heaters are on the other side.

‘We have separate Lego for the children to play with.’

To research for the replica, the couple visited an existing wooden model of the bridge in St Magnus The Martyr Church, London.

A Lego figure crosses the bridge in the replica. The model only includes three quarters of the bridge’s entire span, as the full size wouldn’t fit in the house

Unlike the current London Bridge which crosses the river, the Old London Bridge was known for being a bustling centre for merchants to set up shop.

Shops and houses lined either side of the busy crossing, and in the 1580s Queen Elizabeth I even installed water mills. 

Mr Addis said: ‘Everything is individually made, each house is very different.

MrAddis and Ms Weightman, pictured, worked on the project for four weeks, sometimes putting in 14 hours a day

‘Some days we were working 14 hours to get it done.

‘You have to be patient. Some of it is quite tricky. To make the curved arches we had to build them with half bricks.’

The model will stay up until January 6, when it is traditionally taken down.

The couples love for Lego was spurred from childhood but reinvigorated when a family friend visited with their child and they fetched their Lego from the attic for him to play with.

Old London Bridge, pictured in a file image. Shops and houses lined either side of the busy crossing, and in the 1580s Queen Elizabeth I even installed water mills

One of the couple’s previous Christmas Lego creations. Pictured, a model of Cambridgeshire’s Ely Cathedral

Mr Addis added: ‘We realised how much we loved Lego. We do it with friends sometimes – a pal came over one weekend to help us.’ 

The couple previously built a huge polar bear and model of Ely Cathedral.

They recycle the bricks each time, carefully placing them into colour and size categories when deconstructing. 

WHAT WERE FROST FAIRS?

Frost Fairs on the River Thames happened when the water froze over, and could stay iced over for up to two months in a tradition thought to have begun in the 1600s.

Londoners sometimes used this as a festive opportunity to enjoy the often harsh winters with shops selling fruits and roasted meats, pubs, ice skating rinks and even football pitches.

So thick was the ice by January that some shopkeepers could make fires in their tents to keep warm. 

Frost Fairs on the River Thames happened when the water froze over in a tradition thought to have begun in the 1600s

Between 1607 and 1814, there were seven major fairs and it’s thought there would have been many in-between.   

The climate had started to warm too much to keep the fairs going by the 1800s but the frozen river had seen a number of festivities come and go.

Some records say that one year there had even been a parading elephant.

 Source: Historic UK 

Source: Read Full Article