Tyne Bridge Opening: the King's Speech

Contributed by Discovery Museum

The centre of the record, embossed with images of the Tyne Bridge and civic crests. © Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

The Tyne Bridge contains more than 7,000 tonnes of steel connected by ¾ million rivets.The image of the Tyne Bridge is recognised worldwide. It symbolises the pride in engineering skills which, in the 19th century, had established the North East's reputation on an international scale.

Opened on 10th October 1928, the Tyne Bridge is also a reminder of challenges facing the region in the 1920s. The world no longer needed Tyneside's industrial capacity, and the construction of the bridge was an unemployment relief scheme. In this recording the King remarks, 'I pray that with God's blessing, more prosperous times may soon return, and that your trade may reap the benefit of these improved communications.'

The similar, but much larger, Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932. Like the Tyne Bridge, it was constructed by Dorman, Long & Company of Middlesbrough. They stand on opposite sides of the world to celebrate the North East England's one-time pre-eminence in the iron and steel industry.

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