Next to London Bridge

THE PRESENT FISHMONGERS Hall at the northern end of London Bridge was constructed in 1827, following the completion of the London Bridge, which now stands in Lake Havasu City in Arizona (USA). Built in a neo-classical style, the Hall, which faces the Thames and King William Street, was designed by Henry Roberts (1803-1876), assisted by a young architect who would later be known as Sir George Gilbert-Scott (1811-1878).

Recently, the Hall was associated with a horrific act perpetrated by a terrorist Usman Khan (1991-2019). Khan, whom it was believed to have been reformed and rehabilitated from his terrorist leanings, was attending a conference on prisoner rehabilitation arranged by the University of Cambridge at Fishmonger’s Hall on the 29th of November 2019. During the conference, he put on what turned out to be a fake suicide vest. He threatened to blow up the Hall. He did not do that, but instead fatally stabbed two of the other conference delegates (both in their twenties): Saskia Jones and Jack Merrett. The latter had studied at the University of Cambridge. As Khan fled across London Bridge, he was tackled by members of the public before being shot dead by a policeman. What had been intended to be a well-intentioned project, ended up as a national tragedy. It illustrated that although a person’s mind can be programmed to become a fanatic, undoing this programming is far more difficult than most people, even experts, imagine.

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