Talk:Westminster Bridge

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Encyclopaedic comment and photo?[edit]

OK, to avoid an edit war over this, does anyone else have any views on whether this photograph and caption, together with the text I removed in this edit, have any place in this encyclopaedia? BencherliteTalk 23:15, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

I think it's a fun fact about the bridge. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.45.67.108 (talk) 02:23, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
If this light pattern had been covered by a reliable source for some reason, and if the article were large and developed enough for the removed "fun fact" not to be given undue weight merely by its inclusion, I might have advocated its retention (although with no particular fervour; it is, admittedly, rather tasteless). As things stand, I believe that the curiosity in question has no place in the article—or, to answer Bencherlite's question, in this encyclopaedia.
Besides, captions are not supposed to be italicised. Waltham, The Duke of 06:43, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely no grounds to include this. Any trefoil window or object will cast a shadow of this shape when the sun's at a particular angle, and the trefoil is a very common motif in Gothic and Gothic Revival monumental and religious architecture. There are thousands of structures to which this fact replies, and no source has ever singled out Westminster Bridge as a particularly significant case. – iridescent 20:00, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Length of the Westminster Bridge[edit]

Different websites give different dimensions for the Westminster Bridge. 915 feet (279 m) long, 85 feet (26 m) wide, 748 feet (228 m) long, 85 feet (26 m) wide, | 252m long and 25,5m wide, [http://www.lobeg.com/lobeg%5Cwest.html |250m long and so on.

Before fiddling with the display of units, we need to determine, as accurately as possible, the dimensions of the bridge. Michael Glass (talk) 00:57, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

I disagree with your analysis and conclusion. The WP:UITS is unambiguous: "UK engineering-related articles, including all bridges and tunnels, generally use the system of units that the topic was drawn-up in..." Note "all" bridges. Unless you plan to argue that the Victorian era bridge was drawn-up by the Victorian era British architect in metric measures, then, no matter what the actual length, and no matter what units the sources you choose to portray use, the dimensions must be displayed with the prevailing units of the day shown as primary, that is feet first in this case. Timpace (talk) 18:17, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Timpace, you need to be aware of the general sanctions that apply to units of measure on UK articles. Please familiarise yourself with this policy before you do any more edits. Changes to the display of units can only be made when there is consensus. Michael Glass (talk) 09:22, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

There are a number of different estimates of the length of the Westminster Bridge.

  • The first one that came up from a Google search was from London Architecture. [1]. It gave the length as 827 feet (252m).
  • A second website gave both the length and the width in metres. [2]. Length 209 metres, width 37m.
  • A third website gives some very interesting details, but not the overall length and width of the bridge [3]

Revising the article isn't a matter of flipping the display of units, but checking information and making sure that the article is accurate. Michael Glass (talk) 11:49, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Here are some dimensions given in 19th century books and newspaper articles describing the bridge:

  • Collins' illustrated guide to London and neighbourhood (1871), William Collins, p104. 1160 feet long, 85 feet wide.
  • The World's Guide to London in 1862, Darton and Hodge, p70. 1160 feet long, 85 feet wide.
  • The Popular Guide to London and its Suburbs (1862), Routledge, p108. 1160 feet long, 85 feet wide.
  • The London Times, 3 September 1858, p7. From extreme of abutment to abutment 1160 feet long, 85 feet wide.

Chief archivist (talk) 20:18, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Total confusion! How could a bridge be 1,150 feet (350 m) long and 85 feet (26 m) wide in the nineteenth century and 827 feet (252 m) today? Something is wrong here.That's a difference in length of just over 100 metres! Michael Glass (talk) 09:31, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

FWIW the answer to this question may well be the Thames Embankment and the Albert Embankment, i.e. the river is genuinely narrower than it used to be. Kahastok talk 18:57, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
The existing Westminster Bridge was completed in 1862 [4] while the Victoria Embankment was built between 1864 and 1870 [5] A blog gives the following dates: "Albert (1868), Victoria (1870) and Chelsea (1874) Embankments"[6]. However, even if the Thames was narrowed, there is still a difference of 43 metres (141 ft) between two modern measures. This seems extraordinary for a prominent London landmark. Michael Glass (talk) 00:20, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

As there is no consistency on the dimensions of the bridge, I propose removing all reference to the dimensions until someone comes up with something that is accurate. Michael Glass (talk) 02:53, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

We've got one source that says 827 feet (252 m) and one that says 250 metres (820 ft). I don't know where you got 209 metres from because I can't find it in either source. I don't see any particular inconsistency here or any reason for further change. Kahastok talk 07:33, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

I checked my references and I couldn't find 209 metres either. I don't know how I made that mistake. 827 feet (252 m) is probably the most accurate and authoritative reference we have, so I'm happy to leave it at that. However, a reference needs to be supplied to the text. 01:30, 12 May 2015 (UTC) Michael Glass (talk) 13:34, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

I have found what is definitely an authoritative document about the bridge, the Tunnel and Bridge Assessments document of 2012 from Thames Water. It gives a detailed assessment of Westminster Bridge.[7]. It gives its total length as 250m and width as 26m. This equates to 820 feet by 85 feet. And 85 feet seems to be almost universally quoted elsewhere as the width. The length was almost certainly reduced significantly when the embankments were built out, and the river width substantially decreased, in the years after the bridge was built. Timpace (talk) 20:00, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Great that you got an authoritative source for the length and breadth of the bridge. As this information is metric, I think it would be better to use these figures without flipping the display. Michael Glass (talk) 04:18, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

The MOS disagrees with you. And there's no particular reason not to follow it. Kahastok talk 21:37, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Only if you take it as a diktat rather than a guideline. However, as there are several editors who prefer the older measures to be displayed first, there's no point in pushing the matter further. Michael Glass (talk) 08:39, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

If it is "diktat" to suggest that WP:ILIKEIT is not a good reason not to follow a global consensus, then all of the MOS - along with all policies and all guidelines - are "diktat". And you may just have to live with that. Kahastok talk 17:50, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I do wish you would stop pretending that the only reason to use modern measurements is "because some people like them". That isn't the argument, and it would do you some credit to stop misstating it. It's also not really a "global" consensus if it's achieved by threats of blocking people who disagree with it; some might call this consensus à la Kim Jong Un. Archon 2488 (talk) 20:37, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
I was going to point out that nobody has threatened anyone with a block in this discussion, but that isn't actually true. You and Michael didn't just threaten to get Timpace blocked. You actually tried to get him blocked for supporting applying the MOS when there is no good reason not to.
The fact that you do not like the MOS prescription is not a good reason not to follow the MOS prescription. If there was a genuinely good reason to vary from the MOS in this particular case, then that would be one thing, but neither of you have even tried to argue that. I get that you prefer metric units, and that you have reasons for that preference, but that is totally irrelevant here because your preference does not override the global consensus expressed by the MOS. Kahastok talk 09:56, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I think authoritative information about the length and breadth of the Westminster Bridge is good reason to use these measurements as primary. However, I'm not prepared to enter into endless disputes about it. I also have no apologies about asking for the investigation of suspected sockpuppets. The verdict was "not proven" rather than "not guilty." Time will tell whether this verdict holds. Michael Glass (talk) 12:35, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
And you have proposed source-based units at MOSNUM on what must be at least fifty separate occasions over the course of the last six years, and have been rebuffed every time for very good reasons. It is disruptive to attempt to enforce a system on articles that you know full well has been consistently rejected by global consensus.
The fact remains that you have not made any argument that there is a genuinely good reason to vary from the MOS in this case. Your personal preference for metric units - whether expressed directly or through your proxy of source-based units - is not a good reason not to follow the MOS. Kahastok talk 13:01, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Kahastok, your rant has nothing to do with Westminster Bridge and is clearly disruptive. If you have a problem with MOSNUM discussions, raise it elsewhere. I make no apologies for arguing in favour of accurate information. Michael Glass (talk) 14:16, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
So, let's get this straight. You propose to use source-based units on this article, despite the repeatedly-expressed global consensus against such a system (that you are well aware of, since it was your proposals that were rejected). I point out said repeatedly-expressed global consensus, and you claim that I'm the one being disruptive? Really?
The "accurate information" canard is also nonsense, incidentally, as well you know. Even if the source did say or imply that the bridge was precisely 250.000000000000000 metres long - and it doesn't - we would still be able to report it as 820 feet and 2 66127 inches with no loss of accuracy. In practice, there is no reason to assume that 820 feet is any less accurate than 250 metres - in fact, since the bridge was designed in imperial it is reasonable to assume that imperial figures are more accurate in general. Which is precisely why MOSNUM prefers the original design units for engineering-related articles. Kahastok talk 15:20, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Again, that's simply wrong. If what you are saying were correct, it would apply to all engineering-related articles, rather than simply those pertaining to the UK. It's pointless to misrepresent the origin and purpose of the clause in this way when people who know what actually happened are in the conversation with you. And lest you continue to imply that I'm somehow personally attacking you and singling you out for unfair treatment, I'd point out that I am the person who originally proposed that very MOS clause as a compromise some 2 years ago in a discussion about the Edinburgh trams, because certain nutters didn't accept the near-exclusive use of metric by the UK STEM community as a valid reason not to deceive our readers by pretending that modern UK engineers typically would talk in feet and inches (they wouldn't). Some people touted the style guide of a publication which had absolutely nothing to do with engineering or any related topic as if that were relevant (it wasn't and isn't, although I'd note that the style guide in question does actually cite an "overwhelming preference" for metric in the context of engineering, a fact which has been conveniently forgotten). For all the supposed "greater accuracy" of the original measurements, certain people have even tried to pretend that articles about high-speed rail have nothing to do with engineering in order to exempt them from the MOS clause. A cynic might suspect this is more evidence of bias. Archon 2488 (talk) 16:40, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
"You actually tried to get him blocked for supporting applying the MOS when there is no good reason not to." That's absurdly misleading. We tried to get him blocked, as was repeatedly explained during the course of the SPI which you were involved in, because his contribution history gave us reason to suspect that he was yet another DeFacto sock. Behaviourally, he was practically indistinguishable from the likes of Ceipt and ProProbly, previously identified socks. You managed to shut that discussion down and now you are misrepresenting it completely; how you can continue to pretend to be "neutral" I have no idea. Your involvements in these disputes are exclusively one-sided; when some anti-metric editors (and likely socks) were in trouble you jumped in to defend them, yet when a pro-metric editor tried to get unblocked you fought the unblock with everything you had. And yes, I am aware that this is off-topic for this talk page, but misleading statements need to be corrected so that uninvolved editors can understand what is actually being said here. Archon 2488 (talk) 14:53, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I do not propose to answer that string of personal attacks because it is of no conceivable relevance to this article. Kahastok talk 15:20, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
It wasn't irrelevant a few comments ago when you were making personal attacks against me, by absurdly conflating "trying to block an account for being a sockpuppet" with "trying to block an account for advocating following the MOS". Stones and glass houses. Archon 2488 (talk) 16:40, 17 May 2015 (UTC)