"Don't Jump!"

The Clifton Suspension Bridge (construction started 1831 and it was opened 1864) is a place of great wonder and also immense sadness.
Clifton Suspension Bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. A young and innovative engineer, he was 24 when he was appointed for the project which came about through a competition. Brunel described the bridge as ‘my first child, my darling’, and the ingenious bridge, which took 33 years to complete, marked the beginning of a great engineering career.
Wow, TWENTY FOUR! I wasn't able to design a table seating plan at that age let alone an incredible suspension bridge. Brunel also died five years before it was opened, bugger.

Over the years over 120+ people have leapt to their deaths from the bridge and either side there are now notices advertising the Samaritans phone number (UK 116 123) . One such attempt is noteworthy for a pleasing outcome:
1885, a 22-year-old woman named Sarah Ann Henley survived a suicide attempt off the bridge when her billowing skirts acted as a parachute and she landed in the thick mud banks of the tidal River Avon at low tide; she subsequently lived into her eighties.
I also love how she had to be stretchered for an hour to the hospital because a local cabbie refused to dirty his cab with her muddy clothes.

One side of the Clifton Suspension Bridge seen from below. A brown river flows past the tree covered cliff with the red brick tower on top. The giant suspension chains hang the platform out and away to the right of the photograph. Autumn clouds cover the sky.


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