Hammersmith Bridge: A Bold New Initiative?

‘Now, pay attention, 007… ‘ ‘M’ (Ralph Fiennes) and James Bond (Daniel Craig) in deep conversation in front of Furnivall Sculling Club. Hammersmith Bridge is in the background. Picture: @007/Instagram

22 September 2020

By Tim Koch

Tim Koch notes that the most effective fundraisers are those who are licensed to kill.

The above picture, newly released by Eon Productions, could indicate that the plot of the upcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die, may involve 007 getting involved in the glamorous and exotic worlds of local government finance and urban transport infrastructure planning as Bond is given his most difficult mission yet – to finance the repair of Hammersmith Bridge. Rowers are amongst those who will be excited by this development as they have been banned from passing under the unstable structure since 13 August.

Will Bond take the mission? Possibly, he would rather revisit the scene in “Casino Royale” where his exposed Thunderballs were beaten with a knotted rope. Photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, Eon Productions, United Artists, Universal Pictures.

Usually, Bond only has to fight SPECTRE (the Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) but now he may have to deal with the LBH&F, the GLA, TfL and HMG (the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and Her Majesty’s Government). To get the £140m needed, Bond must get the access codes to the sinisterly named ‘Shovel Ready Scheme’, but these are held by the latest ‘Bond villain’, the unprincipled and improbably named ‘Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’, a madman who has already caused havoc with his plot to separate the United Kingdom from Europe.

It will take all Bond’s skill and cunning to outwit the ‘evil genius’ (citation needed) that is Boris Johnson.

Of course, Bond’s easiest option would be to donate 15% of the takings from Skyfall, a sum that would nicely cover the cost of repairing the 133-year-old structure – and have enough left for vodka martinis all round.

On April Fool’s Day 2010, “Rowing Voice” printed this joke based on the ludicrous idea that the Boat Race scheduled for 3 April would not be allowed to pass under one of the bridges on the course.

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