The Transporter Bridge & River Tees~July 2017

Finishing up our day out in Teeside, Sophie and I went to see the Transporter Bridge that crosses 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 gondola can carry 200 people, 9 cars, or 6 cars and one minibus. It carries the A178 Middlesbrough to Hartlepool road. Locally the bridge is often referred to simply as ‘the Transporter’. The bridge is quite famous, featured in films and TV programmes including Boys from the Blackstuff, Billy Elliot, The Fast Show, Spender and Steel River Blues. In the millennium celebrations of 2000, fireworks were fired from its length. The storyline of the third series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, saw the bridge dismantled to be sold to and re-erected in the USA. The local council received calls from people worried that the bridge was really being pulled down, with the BBC adding a disclaimer on the end of the final episode of the series stating that ‘The Transporter Bridge remains in Middlesbrough’. It’s had it’s funny moments too, in 1974, the comedy actor Terry Scott, travelling between his hotel in Middlesbrough and a performance at the Billingham Forum, mistook the bridge for a regular toll crossing and drove his Jaguar off the end of the roadway, landing in the safety netting beneath. Duh.

The Transporter

 

we also took some pictures whilst walking up the river path to see the bridge

Firstly this is the rather odd Temenos sculpture

It is approximately 110 m long and 50 m high and cost £2.7 million. The steel structure consists of a pole, a circular ring and an oval ring, all held together by steel wire. It is apparently the first of a series of Giant artworks by Anish Kapoor, called the Tees Valley Giants, Five structures were planned: however only Temenos, has been unveiled.  However, in September 2012, Kapoor insisted the other projects would go ahead. But by September 2016 no progress had been announced. (Thankfully 🙂 )

We saw an abandoned ship

a red brick building

some plant life

then on walking back to the Fragglewagon we passed a cafe which appears to have been converted from public toilets

and in a neglected bit of land between houses, a medieval font!

Teeside is a strange place!

That’s it, stay tooned for the next enthralling Fraggle Report when we’re off on a cruise up the River Tyne.

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