Today is a special day for the iconic Tyne Bridge – the last piece was put in place 90 years ago!
Construction began in 1925 and The Tyne Bridge was the biggest single-span bridge in the UK when it was officially opened by King George V on October 10, 1928.
Over the years it has had several renovations and been re-painted in the original green we all recognise.
It also bares a striking resemblance with the much-larger Sydney Harbour Bridge and throughout the years there’s been many an argument over who copied who.
Dorman Long of Middlesbrough were the contractors and Mott, Hay and Anderson the designers, and they used a modified design based on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Construction had actually been going on for 7 months over in Sydney by the time work began here on Tyneside.
However, Sydney’s bridge wasn’t completed until three years after the Tyne Bridge – probably because it is so much larger!
At either end of the Tyne Bridge are green arch granite towers which house lifts but these are no longer in use these days. Trams ran over it from 1928 until 1950 and bus services have always used it – but never trolley buses because Gateshead never had a trolley system.
Today people can go over it by foot, bike, car or bus and my heart always fills with joy as I drive over the bridge and take in the beautiful views of the stunning Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside below.
It sits between the Swing Bridge (my personal favourite) and Gateshead Millennium (blinking eye) Bridge.
I drove over the bridge the other day on my way to and from a meeting in Newcastle for work and was saddened to see it desperately needing a lick of paint. Hopefully it will get some TLC soon.
The thousands of runners who take part in the Great North Run cross over the bridge as they make their way to the coast as part of the half marathon and this year I will be one of them – Steve and I both bagged a place in the ballot!
If you haven’t yet paid us a visit, consider making 2018 the year you rectify this! We have so much going on in the North East this year as part of The Great Exhibition of the North.
2018 is an exciting year for the North East with the 90th birthday of the Tyne Bridge and earlier this month the iconic Angel of the North celebrated it’s 20th birthday – you can read all about it in my Happy birthday Angel of the North post here.
My home city of Newcastle has been named as the number 1 place to visit by the Rough Guide which you can find out more about in a previous post here.
The Great Exhibition of the North is a free, summer-long celebration of the North of England’s pioneering spirit and I’m so excited!
The country’s biggest event in 2018, will pack a programme of amazing exhibits, live performances, displays of innovation, new artworks and unforgettable experiences into 80 days and nights.
I think it’s going to be a really exciting summer and I for one cannot wait. I will of course share updates with you on my blog.
Have you visited the Tyne Bridge? Let me know your memories and thoughts in the comments below.
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