I've always wanted to climb a bridge. Mainly for the views but also to take in the sheer construction wow factor that comes with it. This trip therefore started with the aim to climb bridges. Two in fact. The Newport Lifting Bridge and the Transporter Bridge located in Middlesbrough.
"Opened on the 28 February 1934 by the Duke of York , the Tees Newport Bridge spans the River Tees a short distance upriver from Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge , linking Middlesbrough with the borough of Stockton-on-Tees , England . Designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson and built by local company Dorman Long , who have also been responsible for such structures as the Tyne Bridge and Sydney Harbour Bridge , it was the first large vertical lift bridge in Britain
Constructed around twin 182ft (55m) lifting towers, the 270ft (82m) bridge span, weighing 2,700 tonnes, could be lifted by the use of two 325 H.P. electric motors at 52ft per minute to a maximum height of 120ft (37m).
In the event of motor failure a standby 450 H.P. petrol engine could be employed to move the bridge, but should both systems fail it was possible to raise or lower the span manually using a winch mechanism. It was estimated in 1963 by Mr R. Batty, long time Bridge Master at Newport Bridge, that "it would take 12 men eight hours" to complete the movement by hand"
As we drive into Middlebrough we looked at the map as the bridge should be around here somewhere we turned a corner and bang. There is was lit up in all its glory. We decided to have a quick "drive by recce" to see what access would be like. To be honest a little bit to easy. You had two options. Brave the savage external single ladder which ran along the side or climb the interior caged ladders with platforms ever two meters. It was a clear cut choice.
We parked up and within half an hour found ourselves surveying the bridge from the top!. Finally I had conquered a bridge and I have to say it was well worth it. Photography proved to be a little problematic from the top as on the ground were huge halogen blasters illuminating the bridge which caused horrible amounts of flare in the photos. Either way we spent a good hour and a half walking around the top and along the middle lift sections.
From the top we spotted our next target the Tee's Transporter Bridge. So after we had shot all we needed to we headed down and on to our second objective.