The Albert Bridge crosses the Thames river from Chelsea to Battersea in London.
As one of London’s oldest suspension bridges, Albert Bridge is also one of the city’s most delicate. Even before opening in 1870, architects were aware of similar bridges collapsing as recently as 20 years earlier. One such incident involved the Broughton Suspension Bridge in what is now Greater Manchester when 74 soldiers were crossing the bridge when it collapsed.
The Albert Bridge earned the name ‘The Trembling Lady’ because it had the tendency to shake when traffic crossed, including troops from the local Chelsea Barracks.
Fearing a repeat of the disaster at the Broughton Suspension Bridge, local authorities took measures to protect people along the bridge. The Borough of Kensington and Chelsea installed notices on each end of Albert Bridge stating that “All troops must break step when marching over this bridge.” It was believed that the vibrations of the marching soldiers contributed to the Broughton incident.
The barracks closed in 2008 and therefore the potential threat of marching eased.