HISTORICAL recordings featuring recollections of the Transporter Bridge opening ceremony in 1911 and interwar trips on the iconic crossing are to be heard for the first time in decades as part of a talk by Manchester Metropolitan University historian Dr Tosh Warwick at the Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough this Saturday, February 1 (10.45am).
Part of the Cleveland & Teesside Local History Society’s Winter Programme, The Tees Transporter Bridge: ‘Majestic Dinosaur’ and ‘Monster’ talk draws upon a range of historical material to explore the story of the unique river crossing.
Through collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University History Research Centre and Teesside Archives, the talk will be the first to share newly digitised oral history interviews featuring memories dating back to Edwardian Middlesbrough.
Attendees will be able to hear a foundry worker, born in 1894, reminisce about the construction of the Transporter Bridge and its opening ceremony, and hear another interviewee share his first-hand account of crossing the Tees by ferry when the Transporter Bridge was out of action.
The presentation, based upon Dr Warwick’s latest research for a new book on the Transporter Bridge, published later this year by Amberley Publishing, will feature rarely seen historical documents, photographs and plans from the collections of the Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough Libraries and Teesside Archives.
At a time when the Transporter Bridge is closed for essential repairs and maintenance, the talk will chart controversies surrounding the Cleveland Bridge-designed icon, highlight historic debates around replacing the ‘Monster’ and maintaining the ‘Majestic Dinosaur’.
Dr Tosh Warwick, who previously worked on the major Heritage Fund-supported Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience Project, said: “The Tees Transporter Bridge is an important part of the area’s history and despite the challenges posed by maintaining a 109-year-old structure, it is important that the bridge is maintained and continues to operate.
“It is one of the world’s most iconic bridges and is a major heritage asset with huge potential as a visitor attraction.”
Teesside Archives Manager Ruth Hobbins added: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Manchester Metropolitan University’s History Research Centre in sharing our oral history recordings.
“We are passionate about engaging new audiences with our collections and are always keen to celebrate the area’s heritage through creative and collaborative approaches.”
The talk is free to attend and all are welcome. Information on upcoming events by the Cleveland & Teesside Local History Society’s can be found at http://ctlhs.co.uk/.