Enlarge image

Repair work on the Millennium Bridge, as a warning a hay bale hangs from the bridge

Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne / REUTERS

On June 10, 2000, the "Millennium Bridge" was opened, a pedestrian bridge connecting the north and south banks of the Thames. Now repair work is necessary, and onlookers are presented with a curious picture: a hay bale hangs from the bridge to orient the height of the passing ship traffic and as a warning that work is currently being carried out.

A hay bale as a warning system in the 21st century? Seems funny, but it's in line with the regulations, reports the London Times, quoting the organization responsible for maintaining the most famous bridges in the British capital, the City Bridge Foundation (CBF): It's "one of those quirky traditions that London is famous for" that has lasted for hundreds of years.

However, the capabilities of the hay bale, you guessed it, are limited: in the dark, it has to be replaced by a white, clearly visible light.