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Published 6th Apr 2011

Transporter Bridge Book cover

The famous Transporter Bridge over the River Tees is set to celebrate its first century with the launch of a stunning new book celebrating the local landmark.

The Transporter – 100 years of the Tees Transporter Bridge is the untold story of the high drama that has surrounded the iconic steel structure since its very conception.

The symbol of Teesside, the bridge celebrates its 100th birthday in October this year and the book kicks off a year of celebrations to mark the towering structure’s special occasion.

One of only six such bridges still in operation throughout the world, the Transporter is the only one of its type in England still in working order.

Published by Middlesbrough Council, the 200-page hardback tells the history of the mechanical marvel that dominates the Teesside skyline, one foot in Middlesbrough and the other in Port Clarence, Stockton.

It tells of the ferry system that preceded the bridge, explains why the Transporter was built and of its heyday when no fewer than 5.1 million pedestrians a year – most of them workers from the thriving steelworks and shipyards - crossed the Tees on its travelling carriage.

The Transporter also reveals how the bridge was bombed by a German Zeppelin in the First World War and by an enemy bomber in World War II, recalls how TV funnyman Terry Scott drove off the bridge and into the river and recalls many of the tragedies.

The book also tells how the Transporter came to be a TV and film star via Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Billy Elliot, featured on the cover of two albums and was the inspiration behind a best-selling romantic novel.

The launch marks the beginning of a programme of Transporter Bridge centenary celebration events happening throughout the year. As well as Transporter-themed exhibitions and events in the Dorman Museum and Teesside Archives, plans are under way for a number of special celebration events and activities. More information on these will be available soon.

Author Dave Allan, who wrote, researched and compiled the book in spare hours away from his job as Middlesbrough FC’s Media Manager, said: “Being a proud Teessider, I have always loved the Transporter, so writing its official history was a privilege and a true labour of love.

“As the very symbol of Teesside, the bridge has a gripping and amazing story to tell and one I’m confident anyone who has affection for it will really enjoy.”

Dave spent long hours researching the Transporter’s history at Teesside Archives, trawling through old newspaper reports and talking to dozens of people with stories to tell.

The book is packed full of anecdotes and memories about the bridge, and features dozens of archive photographs, many of them unseen for many years, including several from the structure’s grand opening on October 17, 1911.

The book’s highlights also include the many colour photographs taken by talented amateur photographer Paul Farrer, who, along with Dave and other brave fundraisers, has previously bungee-jumped from the bridge.

The Transporter

Priced £15, The Transporter – which has been printed on carbon-balanced paper by local firm HPM - is on sale now. All profits from the book will be reinvested back into the future of the Transporter Bridge.

Retail outlets

Venue Phone number
Waterstones Middlesbrough  01642 242682
Guisborough Book Store  01287 610179
MFC Club Shop  
Transporter Bridge Visitor Centre  01642 247563
Middlesbrough Council Libraries  01642 729002
mima  01642 726720
Dorman Musem  01642 813781
Captain Cook Birthplace Museum  01642 311211
Middlesbrough Tourist Information Centre  01642 729700
Teesside Archives  01642 248321
Stockton Library Service  01642 526522
Stockton Tourist Information Centre  01642 526473
Preston Hall Museum  01642 527375
Redcar and Cleveland Tourist Information Centre  01642 774774
ArtsBank  01642 625300

Please note websites are included for location purposes and do not indicate online sales except in the case of where they will be available online soon.

Regrettably, due to unforeseen circumstances, initial supplies of the book have been very limited . Please contact your desired point of sale before visiting. An additional delivery is expected w/c Monday 18th April.

Useful links

Transporter Bridge

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge on wikipedia

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