As one of the most iconic bridges in the UK, the Tyne Bridge links Newcastle Upon Tyne with Gateshead and the South, and it’s shape is instantly recognisable around the world. Here are some lesser known facts about the iconic bridge;
1. The full name of the structure was New Tyne Bridge, and it was the fourth ‘Tyne Bridge’.
The first 3 three bridges were:
a. The Roman bridge (Pons Aelius), built around 122AD
b. The medieval bridge, built around 1179
c. The Georgian Bridge of 1781 – which was situated where the Swing Bridge sits today
2. The new bridge was built during the deep recession of the 1920s as a way to keep the skills of the shipbuilders alive whilst there was no shipbuilding taking place on the Tyne. Due to this, the bridge itself was actually built using ship building techniques with rivets and panels which were welded together.
3. The bridge was designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson who based their design on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, there is often confusion about whether the Tyne Bridge was the model for the Sydney Harbour Bridge when in fact it was the other way round.
4. Only one person died during the construction of the bridge despite the perilous nature of bridge construction.
5. The Tyne Bridge is 59 metres high and is a 7112-tonne steel and granite structure.
6. The bridge was originally painted green with special paint made by J. Dampney Co. of Gateshead. The same colours were used to re-paint the bridge in 2000.
7. The towers were built of Cornish granite and were designed as warehouses with five storeys. Passenger and goods lifts were built into the towers to provide access to the Quayside. Although not open to the public these are still operation today.