Film ID:
NEFA 20587



Visitor Tabs


A local topical newsreel of the opening of the Transporter Bridge across the river Tees at Middlesbrough on the 17 October 1911.

Local dignitaries leave a platform at Middlesbrough to travel on the Transporter Bridge for the first time as part of the opening ceremony to Port Clarence. Some of the men who walk onto the gondola carry long white sticks. Amongst the dignitaries are Prince Arthur of Connaught (Queen Victoria's grandson) and Sir Hugh Bell, who was Mayor of Middlesbrough at the time of the official opening.

The gates of the bridge gondola are closed. However one or two men are left on a narrow strip of the gondola's platform outside the closed safety gates. As the gondola moves off from the Middlesbrough side of the River Tees, an accident occurs. A bearded man steps back, unaware that a gap between the gondola and bank side has now opened up. He falls off the moving platform and down the gap. His hat remains on the bank top. The opening ceremony continues on the gondola, while police and concerned onlookers rush forward towards the gap.

The gondola continues its journey across the river. A man in uniform and another in plain clothes help the man who has fallen back on to the side of the bank. The man's identity is thought to be Arthur Darwin.

As the gondola crosses to Port Clarence we can see details of some of the buildings on the opposite bank.