Photographer's Note

Hi everyone, here is a photo of a well known landmark in the north east, the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough. It's an impressive piece of architectural engineering and one of only a handfull of such bridges in the world. The bridge looks all the more impressive on a night due to the lighting which makes it stand out for miles.

The Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge (or simply Transporter Bridge) is the furthest downstream bridge across the River Tees. It connects Middlesbrough on the south bank to Port Clarence on the north bank. It is a transporter bridge, carrying a travelling 'car' or 'gondola' suspended from the bridge, across the river in 90 seconds. The car can carry 200 people, 9 cars or 6 cars and one minibus.

The bridge was built in 1911 under a 1907 Act of Parliament. The opening ceremony on the 7 October 1911 was performed by Prince Arthur of Connaught. The Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge reflects the dynamic industrial heritage of the area.

Teesside has a long tradition of bridge building. Many of the world's greatest bridges including the nearby Tees Newport Bridge, the Tyne Bridge and the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia were designed and constructed from Dorman Long steel.

However, the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge at 850 feet (260 metres) long and 225 feet (69 metres) high at the tallest point, is the largest working bridge of its kind in the world. The distance between the two towers is 580 feet (177 metres).

In December 1993, the bridge was awarded the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' highest honour, The Heritage Plaque, for engineering excellence, in recognition of the Council's efforts in keeping the bridge in good working order. Its historical importance was also recognised in 1985 by its listing as a Grade II* Listed Building and its prominence as a local landmark was further enhanced in 1993 by the installation of flood lights that operate during the winter months.

It has featured in films and TV programmes including Billy Elliot, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, The Fast Show, Spender and Steel River Blues. In the millennium celebrations of 2000, fireworks were fired from its length.

In the storyline of Auf Wiedersehen Pet (series 3, 2002) the bridge was dismantled to be sold to and re-erected in the USA. A public outcry ensued from people who believed that the bridge was really being pulled down. The BBC was required to put a disclaimer on the end of the last episode of the series stating that 'The Transporter Bridge remains in Middlesbrough'.

(from wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Paul Heslehurst (eza1701) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 635 W: 102 N: 693] (3345)
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