YOU hear stories, don’t you?, of completely lovestruck married couples who live together for 50 years and then in old age, when one passes away the other goes soon afterwards. It’s sort of like that for north London’s Ferodo bridges. Sort of.
Of course, it seemed silly to get sentimental about the loss of the scratchy old advertising that for so long was painted on the side of the Camden Road bridge in Camden Town last year. Why should a car brake pad firm get a free ad just because its long time presence on the bridge had created a comforting familiarity? But it did seem then, when it was replaced for a clinical indigo new look, that a tiny piece of urban history was swept away. It was painted over without much consultation about what should go in its place.
The blue Ferodo bridge of Camden Town gone (see before and after below), now the end is nigh for the red Ferodo bridge on the Cally Road. Plans to paint over it were confirmed last week. The term I used last time was ‘bohemian scruff’ but bohemian scruff, even if it is the right term, is hard to describe and certainly difficult to put a value on. Again, Alex Marsh’s old piece in the Guardian, ‘Why I Love Ferodo Bridges’ perhaps puts it in clearer terms when he describes the bridges as “timeless – advertisements that have been absorbed into the fabric of the cityscape and become landmarks in their own right”. ‘Save Ferodo’ is a hard argument to win, but once they’re gone…
Cally Road bridge pic: Allan Murray-Rust