North - East - Life - Middlesbrough-Transporter-Bridge-centenary

PUBLISHED: 00:16 25 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:33 20 February 2013

North – East – Life – Middlesbrough-Transporter-Bridge-centenary

North â€" East â€" Life â€" Middlesbrough-Transporter-Bridge-centenary

Middlesbrough's Transporter Bridge is an iconic structure, which celebrates its 100th birthday later this year. What memories does it hold for you?

One of the North Easts best-loved landmarks, the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough, conjures up strong emotions and memories for people in the region.
Now, as its centenary approaches, an appeal has gone out for anecdotes about the bridge for inclusion in a book celebrating the occasion.
Officially opened in 1911 by Queen Victorias grandson Prince Arthur of Connaught, the famous structure will be 100 years old on 17 October. To mark the event, Middlesbrough Council has commissioned the production of the 200-page coffee-table book.
The books author, Dave Allan, says: The Transporter has become the iconic symbol not just of Middlesbrough but
of Teesside as a whole. Its a wonder
of Edwardian engineering and an imposing sight.
One of only a handful of working examples in the world, the Transporter links Middlesbrough and Port Clarence and is an instantly recognisable feature on the River Tees.
Since featuring in the popular television series Auf Wiedersehen Pet, the profile of the bridge has been raised further and it attracts thousands of visitors every year.
In recent years, the Transporter has also become a centre for extreme sports with regular events attracting 1,500 enthusiasts taking in the panoramic views from the top of the bridge before bungee jumping, zip lining and abseiling.
In the book, Dave plans to include the Transporters history and tales from its past and present.
But he also wants to include stories from anyone who has ridden on, walked across, climbed or even bungee jumped from the bridge.
Id love to hear from anyone who has made special journeys on it or who remembers it from its bustling heyday when the gondola was crowded with workers on their way to the factories in Port Clarence and Haverton Hill.
Perhaps theres someone out there who, while riding on the Transporter, asked their girlfriend to marry them or maybe they even had their first date on the bridge!
Dave said he was also keen to get more information about the time, during the Second World War, when a bomb dropped by a German plane exploded on the bridges gondola.
During his research to date, Dave has uncovered tales of love, humour and tragedy involving the bridge.
I have been contacted by a huge array of people, including a 91-year-old who told me his memories of the bridge, and some fantastic stories have been coming out.
Apart from anecdotes, Dave would also like to hear peoples opinions about the bridge.
I want to hear from anyone who has
a strong opinion about it, whether they love or loathe it, whether they use it every day or have never been on it,
he says.
He is also looking for photographs or memorabilia connected with the Transporter Bridge.
As it heads towards its centenary, the Transporter could undergo a major improvement programme as Middlesbrough Council has applied for 2m in Heritage Lottery Funding.

Dave Allan can be contacted by email on or freephone 0800 013 6001, leaving name, contact details and brief details. Written contributions can be sent to Middlesbrough Council, Transport and Design Services, PO Box 502,
Vancouver House, Gurney Street, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FW.

Will you be celebrating the centenary of the bridge? How does it rate alongside the other iconic bridges of the North East? Should it be preserved, or it is a monstrosity?
Leave a message here.

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