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Re: It depends on the state of the tide at London Bridge

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on January 24, 2010 at 08:33

In Reply to: It depends on the state of the tide at London Bridge posted by Michael on January 23, 2010 at 22:04:

: What is the origin and meaning of the phrase: "It depends on the state of the tide at London Bridge?"

I don't think that is a "phrase" as such; it gets precisely no Google hits at all besides your own query! You haven't provided any context - is this something you came across in a book? A family saying? Or what?

All one can say is that for many centuries, until the introduction of steam power, ships wanting to reach or leave the Pool of London ships were utterly dependent on the state of the tide at London Bridge. They could only get up river from the North Sea to London when the tide was making, and could only leave London on a falling tide. London being the capital and the centre of England's trade, the tide was crucial England's mercantile and naval affairs. (VSD)