Whilst out on a walk organised by River Tees Rediscovered; we passed under the three River Tees bridges which span the river within yards of each other; the A66 Surtees Bridge, the 1906 Tees Rail Bridge and the 2008 Tees Rail Bridge. On the west, Stockton, bank of the river and underneath the 1906 rail bridge you can still clearly see the remains of the original 1830 suspension bridge with several of the foundation stones lying just below the waters surface and on one of them you can make out four holes which were probably used to anchor either the original girder structure or perhaps wooden sleepers?
These railway bridges were used to extend the S&DR to the then named Port Darlington, The Infant Hercules – Middlesbrough. On leaving the riverbank the footpath continues along Boathouse Lane passing close to the original coal staithes behind Bridge House and the original ticket office across Bridge Road and the site of St Johns crossing and then behind the modern bingo hall and back onto the river front and what was once the very busy and industrious Stockton Quayside. There is a Stockton Railway Heritage Trail information board behind what is now the only original wharf, Warehouse At River Front, and with the replica HM Bark Endeavour set to sail away in the near future Stockton seems set to lose another connection to it’s nautical past.
Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.