3 thoughts on “An aerial view of Newport Bridge

  1. Franks Mee has said that it would have been difficult to have a bus service running from Norton/Billingham to Middlesbrough once the Newport bridge opened. He recollects the bridge being up in the air more often than it was down.

    This wasn’t as I remembered, using the bridge to get back to Portrack from the Dorman Long labs in 1961-62. I don’t think the bridge was opened for ships more than a couple of times a week.

    In this respect I can confirm that the No1 bus ran from the town, down Garbutt Street ( now long vanished) and along Portrack Lane to the bus terminus at the Transporter Bridge. It was a one hour service, serving the North Tees Trading Estate and parts of ICI.


  2. The sluice gates and outfall of Lustrum Beck cab be seen on the Stockton side of the river, about a quarter way down the right hand side of the photograph. The picture seems to have been taken at high tide so that the level of the Tees is about as high as the farm land. Its a clear indication of how the sides of the river were built up and the river effectively canalised.

    At these times the sluice gates would be closed. As far as I remember there were three outfalls which when Lustrum Beck was flooded and the tide was out resulted in tremendous jets of muddy coloured water surging into the river


  3. The dating of the photograph to 1966 would be correct. A short time after this the terraced houses in Newport were demolished, but round about 1965 Dorman Long built a specialised creep laboratory for the testing of boiler plant steels, for operation in the 400-500°C range. This is the rectangular building on this side of the bridge, between the access road and the river. A chap called Ray was in charge and he was in one of the cosiest buildings on Teesside. Creep labs are always warm.

    The buildings on the other side of the bridge were referred to as Central Research and housed Dorman Long’s research staff.. The original use would have been for the railways or more likely Newport Ironworks which was on this site. Vestiges of the foundations of the Newport blast furnaces could be seen on the north side of the road which curves.

    The other buildings on the lower left hand corner of the photograph were being used to develop plastic coated steel girders. The girders needed to be heated up to cure the plastic, and an induction heating machine was used for this job. As well as almost wrecking the machine, through a short circuit, I did manage to show that it was not suitable. The frequency was far too high at 450 kilo cycles per sec. However, I subsequently found out that this is what the induction companies want to sell unsuspecting buyers.

    I mention this as it shows how different things are to today. Here I was, barely 20 years old, not very long out of the sixth form being trusted with heavy duty electrical equipment, in which the coils were completely exposed. When the accident happened, which resulted in a short circuit, arcing, and parts of the frame melting, I was completely on my own. All in a days work at that time!.


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