When the Tyne Bridge was built: Remarkable construction pictures uncovered by firm planning new river crossing

One company’s continuing role in bridging the Tyne has been uncovered in recently-discovered photographs. Patrick Joseph reports

The Tyne Bridge under construction in 1928
The Tyne Bridge under construction in 1928

Unique construction photographs of a number of the River Tyne’s landmark bridges have been uncovered by researchers working on the heritage project linked to another river crossing in the region.

Photographs and historical documents relating to the King Edward VII, Metro and Tyne Bridges are just some of the highlights in Teesside Archives’ yet-to-be-catalogued Cleveland Bridge Collection.

The records were deposited at the Middlesbrough-based archives by Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Ltd, one of the world’s leading bridge building and engineering firms that lists Wembley Stadium and the new Forth Crossing amongst its recent projects.

Among the images digitised as part of the project are shots of the River Tyne in the early 1900s, the opening of the King Edward VII Bridge and Dorman Long-built Tyne Bridge, as well as more recent company photographs of the construction of the Metro Bridge.


The collection also includes extensive company records and newspaper cuttings covering projects across the globe, including previously unseen photographs of the construction of Sydney Harbour and Victoria Falls Bridges.

The unique material was uncovered by Tosh Warwick, Tees Transporter Bridge education, learning and events officer, and Tees Valley Community Foundation Intern Jonathon Hooton. The pair are carrying out research for the upcoming Bridging the World exhibition at the Transporter Bridge Visitor Centre in Middlesbrough.

Mr Warwick said: “We are delighted to have uncovered these images of the Tyne’s historical bridges that continue to connect thousands of Tynesiders each day.

“The Cleveland Bridge Collection provides an insight into the development of Newcastle’s infrastructure throughout the 20th century and captures the Tyne and Newcastle at unique points in their history.”

Teesside Archives Manager Ruth Hobbins added: “The Cleveland Bridge Collection contains a wide range of unique photographs and documents relating to historic bridges and other structures not only in Britain but across the globe.

“Although the Collection is not yet available to the public, the Transporter Bridge Project Team has helped provide an insight into the value of the Cleveland Bridge material. Given the vast and unique nature of the Cleveland Bridge material this is a priority collection for Teesside Archives to catalogue.”


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