Happy 86th Birthday

10 October 2014

…. to the Tyne Bridge, one of Tyneside’s most recognisable icons! For many Geordies nothing means home as much as the Tyne Bridge.

The magnificent arch was a symbol of Tyneside’s industrial pride when it was first opened on 10 October 1928 and all these years on, it remains a much-loved icon. Grainy footage filmed during its construction shows what an engineering feat it was to build and BBC Nation on Film has made various short clips available online.

Work started in August 1925 with Dorman Long of Middlesbrough acting as the building contractors. Several buildings had to be demolished to make way for the bridge, including the Goat Inn, the Earl of Durham, the Ridley Arms, the Steamboat Inn, Ray’s lodging house, a powder mill, a pickle factory and a bank. Costing around £1.2 million, the road deck is 84 feet above water and the bridge spans 531 feet. Men risked their lives high above the waters of the Tyne, scaling heights and structures with the agility of Spiderman! Despite the dangers of the building work, only one worker died in the building of this amazing structure.

The bridge was completed in 1928 and opened by King George V and Queen Mary. It was celebrated as one of the modern miracles of its age. Happy Birthday Tyne Bridge!

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