Tees Transporter Bridge - Middlesbrough, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 54° 35.008 W 001° 13.761
30U E 614430 N 6049882
Quick Description: A transporter bridge across the River Tees for cars and foot passengers. The foundation stone was laid in August 1910 and the bridge opened in October 1911 by HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught.
Location: North East England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/3/2015 6:23:07 AM
Waymark Code: WMNMC0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member puczmeloun
Views: 1

Long Description:

The brass plaque, to commemmorate the opening of the Tees Transporter Bridge, is attached to a brick wall of a small office building to the west of the winding gear building. The inscription reads:

County Borough of Middlesbrough
Tees Transporter Bridge
Opened by
HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught KG
17th October 1911

Preston Kitchen, Town Clerk

Wikipedia has an article about Prince Arthur Dike of Connaught that tells us:

Prince Arthur of Connaught and Strathearn (Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert; 13 January 1883 – 12 September 1938) was a grandson of Queen Victoria. Prince Arthur held the title of a British prince with the style His Royal Highness. He also served as Governor-General of the Union of South Africa from 20 November 1920 to 21 January 1924.

Prince Arthur was born on 13 January 1883 at Windsor Castle. His father was The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. His mother was Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. The Prince was baptised in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle on 16 February 1883 and his godparents were: Queen Victoria (his paternal grandmother); the German Empress (his great-great-aunt, for whom his paternal aunt The Princess Beatrice stood proxy); Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia (his maternal uncle, who was represented by the German Ambassador Count Münster) and Princess Henry of the Netherlands (his maternal aunt, who was represented by Countess Münster); the Duke of Cambridge (the Queen's cousin); and the Duke of Edinburgh (his paternal uncle, whose brother the Prince of Wales represented him).

Prince Arthur was the first British royal prince to be educated at Eton College.

After attending finishing school, Prince Arthur was educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, from where he was commissioned into the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars in 1901. During the Second Boer War, he saw active duty with the 7th Hussars and spent several months stationed at Krugersdorp. In 1907, he was promoted to the rank of captain in the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys). He became the honorary Colonel-in-Chief of this regiment in 1920.

During the First World War, Prince Arthur served as aide-de-camp to Generals Sir John French and Sir Douglas Haig, the successive commanders of the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1919 and became a colonel in the reserves in 1922. In October 1922, Prince Arthur was promoted to the honorary rank of major general and became an aide-de-camp to his first cousin, King George V.

Since the king's children were too young to undertake public duties until after the First World War, Prince Arthur carried out a variety of ceremonial duties at home and overseas.

On 15 October 1913, Prince Arthur married Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife (17 May 1891 – 26 February 1959) at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, London.

The royal couple were attended by five bridesmaids: Princess Mary; Princess Maud of Fife; Lady Mary Cambridge; Lady Helena Cambridge; Lady May Cambridge.

Princess Alexandra was the eldest daughter of The late Duke of Fife and The Princess Royal, the eldest daughter of King Edward VII. As such, the couple were first cousins once removed. Princess Alexandra held the title of Duchess of Fife in her own right.

After their marriage, Arthur and Alexandra were styled Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught.

Together they had one child:

Alastair (formerly Prince Alastair of Connaught) (9 August 1914 – 26 April 1943). Alastair was styled from 1917 by the courtesy title of Earl of Macduff until he succeeded at his grandfather's death as 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.

After the accession of his cousin, King George V, Prince Arthur and his aging father were the most senior male members of the Royal Family over the age of 18 to reside in the United Kingdom. As such, he undertook a wide variety of royal duties on behalf of the King, and acted as a Counsellor of State during periods of the King's absence abroad.

In 1906, by order of the King, he vested the Meiji Emperor of Japan with the Order of the Garter, as a consequence of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. In 1918, he was a guest aboard the Japanese battlecruiser Kirishima when she voyaged from Japan to Canada. In 1920, Prince Arthur succeeded Viscount Buxton as governor-general and commander-in-chief in South Africa. The Earl of Athlone succeeded him in these posts in 1924. Upon returning to Britain, Prince Arthur became involved in a number of charitable organizations, including serving as chairman of the board of directors of Middlesex Hospital. Like his father, the Duke of Connaught, he was active in the Freemasons, becoming Provincial Grand Master for Berkshire in 1924.

Prince Arthur of Connaught died of stomach cancer at age 55. He is buried in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore. One of his last public appearances was at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in May 1937. His father, the Duke of Connaught, survived him by four years. Prince Arthur's only son, who used the courtesy title Earl of MacDuff after 1917, succeeded his paternal grandfather as 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and Earl of Sussex in 1942.

The transporter bridge, that is some 850 feet long, and 225 feet high at the tallest point, is the largest working bridge of its kind in the world. Some 200 people or 6 cars and one minibus can be carried across the river in 90 seconds by the travelling car which is suspended on a platform.

The Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge or Tees Transporter Bridge is the furthest downstream bridge across the River Tees, England. It connects Middlesbrough, on the south bank, to Port Clarence, on the north bank. It is a transporter bridge, carrying a travelling 'car', or 'gondola', suspended from the bridge, across the river in 90 seconds. The gondola can carry 200 people, 9 cars, or 6 cars and one minibus. It carries the A178 Middlesbrough to Hartlepool road. Locally the bridge is simply known as the Transporter.

It is the only working example of its type in England.

Following a 1907 Act of Parliament the bridge was built at a cost of £68,026 6s 8d (£5,330,000 as of 2011), by Sir William Arrol & Co. of Glasgow between 1910 and 1911 to replace an earlier steam ferry. A transporter bridge was chosen because Parliament ruled that the new scheme of crossing the river had to avoid affecting the river navigation. The opening ceremony on the 17 October 1911 was performed by Prince Arthur of Connaught.

The Tees Transporter Bridge has an overall length (including cantilevers) of 851 feet (259 m), leaving a span between the centres of the towers of 580 feet (180 m), the beam of the bridge being carried at a height of 160 feet (49 m) above the road. This combined with an overall height of 225 feet (69 m), makes this bridge the second largest example remaining in the world; the largest being the bridge across the River Usk, at Newport in South Wales.

During World War II the superstructure of the bridge was hit by a bomb. In 1953, the gondola got stuck half-way. While it was stuck, gale force winds lashed water to within inches of it. However, despite this the Gondola and The Transporter Bridge are still running in perfect order.

In 1974, the comedy actor Terry Scott, travelling between his hotel in Middlesbrough and a performance at the Billingham Forum, mistook the bridge for a regular toll crossing and drove his car off the end of the roadway, landing in the safety netting beneath.

In December 1993, the bridge was awarded the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' highest honour, The Heritage Plaque, for engineering excellence, in recognition of the Council's efforts in keeping the bridge in good working order. Its historical importance was also recognised in 1985 by its listing as a Grade II* Listed Building and its prominence as a local landmark was further enhanced in 1993 by the installation of flood lights that operate during the winter months.

It has featured in films and TV programmes including Billy Elliot, The Fast Show, Spender and Steel River Blues. In the millennium celebrations of 2000, fireworks were fired from its length. The storyline of the third series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, saw the bridge dismantled to be sold to and re-erected in the USA. The local council received calls from people worried that the bridge was really being pulled down, with the BBC adding a disclaimer on the end of the final episode of the series stating that 'The Transporter Bridge remains in Middlesbrough'.

The Transporter Bridge has a safety announcement, and until recently, it was a southern voice. Middlesbrough council decided it was time to change the voice, and held a competition for the new voice. The competition was won by a Middlesbrough man, Brian Hall, who was one of the last few finalists in the competition for the speaking clock in 2006. In 2008 Brian and his son, Sam, took part in a fundraising zipwire event off the Transporter Bridge, raising over £500 in doing so.

The bridge is currently owned by Middlesbrough Council and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. Middlesbrough council has control of the day-to-day operations and maintenance.

Text source: Wikipedia

View the bridge on YouTube

What was opened/inaugurated?: Tees Transporter Bridge

Who was that opened/inaugurated it?: HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught

Date of the opening/inauguration?: 17th October 1911

Website about the location: [Web Link]

Website about the person: [Web Link]

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