England

Old photos of iconic Newcastle bridges found

Metro Bridge Image copyright Teesside Archives
Image caption Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in November 1981, the Metro Bridge carries the Metro between Central Station and Gateshead interchange

A collection of photographs showing the construction of Newcastle's bridges have been found in Middlesbrough.

The photographs and historical documents from the early 1900s relate to the High Level, King Edward VII, Metro and Tyne bridges.

Found by researchers working on the £2.6m Tees Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience Project, the items will now be catalogued at Teesside Archives.

Manager Ruth Hobbins said cataloguing the collection was a "priority".

The images, which are also being digitised as part of the project, show shots of the River Tyne in the early 1900s, the opening of the King Edward VII Bridge and more recent photographs of the construction of the Metro Bridge.

Image copyright Teesside Archives
Image caption The King Edward VII Bridge, which carries four railway tracks, was opened on 10 July 1906

The collection also includes company records and newspaper cuttings covering international projects, including previously unseen photographs of the construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Victoria Falls Bridge which crosses the Zambezi River.

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a £2.6m grant to the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough in 2011 to allow the site to undertake restoration and repair work, and make it more accessible to visitors.

The Grade II listed bridge is getting new lifts and a gondola to allow the public to see the view from the top.

Guided tours and educational activities for schools will also be provided on the bridge, which links Middlesbrough and Port Clarence.

Image copyright Teesside Archives
Image caption The Tyne Bridge was completed and opened in 1928 by King George V

The material was uncovered by Tosh Warwick, learning and events officer for the project.

He 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 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."

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