Moving of the Endeavour, April 2018

The Endeavour moved from its current berth on the River Tees at Stockton to the Tees Barrage. This initial half-mile journey marked the first leg of the vessel’s voyage to Whitby. A massive crane positioned on Navigation Way at the Barrage hoisted the vessel to clear the top of the lock at the Tees Barrage. The lift was needed as the channel narrows at the lock gates to a width of six metres and the Endeavour’s hull is nine metres wide. From there, the Endeavour will be towed downstream to A&P Tees where it will be dry-docked and undergo a six-week refit and refurbishment including repairs to make it seaworthy. The final part of the journey to Whitby will commence and the Endeavour will be transformed into a visitor attraction scheduled to re-open later this year.

Photographs courtesy of Sylvia Coe.

Michaelson Road Bridge built by Head Wrightson

The Michaelson Road Bridge in Barrow-in-Furness was built in two stages to replace the old Lift and Roll bridge by Head Wrightson c1960s. Due to submarines being built in the same area, the bridge was constructed in a vertical position and once complete it was maneuvered into its horizontal position.

Photograph and details courtesy of Tony Campbell.

Head Wrightson TNPG ‘Dungeness’

Heat exchangers built at Head Wrightson, Thornaby for Dungeness Power Station. The heat exchangers were wrapped in timbers and trunnions added before being launched into the Tees. They were towed down to Dungeness and then rolled up the shingle beach before being installed in the power station.

Photograph and details courtesy of Tony Campbell.

River Tees Railway Bridge remains, 19 October 2017

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.

Locomotives crossing the Tees Railway Bridge c1966

I have been following comments about the ‘Lost Thornaby Riverside‘ and unearthed a couple of photographs looking in the other direction. They are of trains crossing the railway bridge and would have been taken from what is now the middle of the A66. In the photograph of the diesel hauled freight the Victoria Bridge is visible in the background. In the other photograph a large building is visible near the Victoria Bridge; was this a flour mill? Perhaps some of your readers might be able to tell me.

For those with a railway interest the locomotives are a class 25 D5181 and the steam loco is a WD no.90470 both taken on 5th March 1966.

Photographs and details courtesy of Garth McLean.

Lost Thornaby Riverside c1990

This picture is looking up river from the Victoria Bridge. I think that the bridge in the distance is the new A66 bypass around South Stockton. All the industrial buildings and warehouses on either side of the river have been replaced. The brick building on the right has a sign which seems to say WLFURN Engineering. The one on the left, close to the road bridge also has a sign, but I cannot make this out. However, judging by the funny chimneys on the crown of the roof, it looks like it was doing metal work. Hot forging or casting?

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.