Film ID: NEFA 13350 Video of NEFA 13350 The Tees Newport Bridge (1933 - 34) THE TEES NEWPORT BRIDGE 1933-1934 Visitor TabsDescription Amateur cine club record of the Dorman Long built Tees (Newport) Bridge in Middlesbrough as it nears completion in October 1933, and of the official opening ceremony of the bridge on 28 February 1934, conducted by the Duke and Duchess of York, (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.) The film was made by Middlesbrough dentist and amateur filmmaker Tom H. Brown with his Teesside Cine Club colleague, W. Maxwell. Title: The Tees Newport Bridge Credit: Produced by T. H. Brown Credit: Photography T. H. Brown. W. Maxwell Title: October 1933 General view of one iron lifting tower of the Tees Newport Bridge under construction, framed against sky, cranes operating nearby. Pan across to another partly built section of the bridge. Closer shot of this bridge tower still under construction, crane to rear. Tilt down to base. View of mid section of whole bridge during construction with works buildings on site, a man watching from elevated viewpoint just in frame. View of construction of bridge lifting tower on Stockton-on-Tees side of river. Title: February 1934 Two men cycle together along Acklam Road, Middlesbrough, towards camera, the completed Tees Newport Bridge in the background. A bus passes on the left hand side of the road. General view down river of the bridge in the landscape. A man walks towards camera down a street with a row of terraced houses to the left, probably Ayresome Road. The Tees Newport Bridge Middlesbrough bank lifting tower and part of the bridge road span is framed at the street end. General view of the whole New Tees Bridge structure with raised bridge road span, framed against sky. Closer shot of Middlesbrough bank lifting tower, juncture with bridge span, pan along length of bridge to Stockton-on-Tees bank. Low angle shot of lifting tower structure, tilting down to base and steps leading to tower. General view of lifting tower and bridge span with crane in foreground. Tilt down to view down river as a tug boat sails beneath the bridge. The heavy industry with chimneys belching smoke are faintly visible in the background. Title: The Opening. The Duke of York, K.G. 28.2.34 Title: The Grandstands Invited guests get in position for the arrival of the royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of York, gathered in the temporary stands with tarpaulin awnings erected on the Middlesbrough entrance to the bridge. Bunting decorates the road approach. Policemen stand guard nearby. A man in a knickerbocker suit and cap strides along the road towards camera. Title: The Guard of Honour. A row of military band members in uniform stand ready with their brass instruments at the approach road to the railway bridge. The band leader conducts. The musicians begin to play their musical instruments. The two rows of musicians play. Crowds of people line a Middlesbrough street decorated with flags and bunting. This may be Linthorpe Road or the approach to Newport Road. There are people leaning out of the upper storey windows of the terraced houses in the background, and people perched up lamposts. The Duke and Duchess of York drive along the street in a Rolls Royce car with open hood. The Duchess, dressed in a fur-trimmed coat and hat, bows her head slightly and waves, looking directly to camera, as the car passes close by. A military Guard of Honour stand to attention beside the road as the royal car passes, an officer holding a bayonet, and uniformed soldiers behind with rifles. Title: Inspected by the Duke View down two lines of assembled soldiers in Guard of Honour, looking towards the bridge across the railway and the Tees Newport Bridge proper, Middlesbrough. A bowler-hatted Duke of York is accompanied by officials at the far end of the two lines of 1st Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry regiment soldiers in the Guard of Honour. Close shot of the Duke of York with military officer guard, Major E. Heslop, inspecting soldiers. They are closely followed by another gentleman in formal coat and bowler hat. They walk between the lines of soldiers standing to attention. The Duchess and Duke of York, accompanied by the Mayor and other civic dignitaries, walk through the assembled crowd towards the bridge, the Duchess waving. She and the Duke glance back towards camera as they proceed along the road to the bridge. The Duke of York passes by camera accompanied by the Mayor who wears three medals and ceremonial chain. The crowds line the route of the procession and a cameraman can be seen in the background. The Mayor and the Duke walk by talking together, the Duchess of York and group of official guests following behind. Various shots of the royal couple and important guests as they make their way along the decorated route to the bridge, lined with spectators. As the group pass close by, the Duchess of York again nods directly to the camera and smiles. Title: The Presentations People mill around the Duke and Duchess of York at the Presentations stand. A gentleman greets the Duchess and shakes her hand. A number of important male and female guests greet the Duchess, bow and shake her hand. A large coat of arms or insignia leans against a table draped in the Union Jack, set up for the official opening ceremony. Shot of the Duke greeting guests, the iron framework of the bridge in the background. A gentleman in wig and gown, The Town Clerk of Middlesbrough (and Clerk to the Tees (Newport) Joint Bridge Committee) - Preston Kitchen Esq., O.B.E., stands beside the Duke and Duchess of York as they greet people. The Duchess turns to face the ceremony table and is carrying a large bouquet of flowers. The large group of civic dignitaries are grouped around the royal couple, and the silhouettes of a row of other guests standing along the rear of the stand can be seen. The Duke makes a short speech and the bridge is officially opened. After pressing the switch to activate the machinery, the Duke and Duchess watch as the bridge descends (out of frame.) Title: Declared Open The Span Descends Behind the temporary gates at the entrance to The Tees Newport Bridge, a huge chain is seen in motion. The Duke of York and assembled dignitaries and other guests are looking in the direction of the bridge. Various low angle shots of of the bridge span structure as it moves down. The VIP group look up in the direction of the bridge. Looking towards the bridge span across river Tees as it moves closer to the ground, some official guests are gathered in the foreground, behind a temporary barrier gate. Shot of the Duke and Duchess of York with the Mayor and other important guests in the foreground as they begin to leave the presentation stand, a large crowd pictured in the background. Framed by the iron structure of the bridge roadway, a large number of people on foot are crossing the Tees Newport Bridge, viewed towards Middlesbrough bank. A crowd are gathered in the forground at an entrance to the bridge, awaiting the crossing of the bridge by the royal cavalcade, some looking up towards the (elevated) camera. The royal cavalcade of cars drive slowly across the bridge, crowds lining the route. Close high angle shot of Duke and Duchess of York in an open topped car driving past, the Duchess waving to the crowd. [Following footage a little over-exposed.] General view of the bridge with road span down, pan down road approach, a large crowd moving towards the bridge in the foreground. Two school boys run along the footpath beside the route towards the bridge General view of the bridge silhouetted against the sky, road span down. Tilt down to see bridge and river Tees glistening, view down river. Shot of Middlesbrough bank lifting tower, telegraph poles to left. A crane is moving in the far background. General view down river of the Tees Newport Bridge from bank to bank of the Tees river. Still of Duke of York. Still of Duchess of York. Title: The Roadway View across the bridge road towards Stockton on Tees, framed by iron structure. A man wheels his bike slowly beside the pavement, taking in the view from the bridge. A group of men are gathered on the bridge pavement to the right. A single van crosses the bridge to Stockton-on-Tees. Title: A View from the Bridge Shot of a building beside the Tees Newport Bridge on the Middlesbrough bank of the Tees. Looking through the rivetted iron framework of the bridge roadway, or span, view downriver of the heavy industry on the Middlesbrough bank of the Tees, numerous smoking chimneys into the distance, including those of iron and steel industry works. Title: From the Durham Side General view of the road leading to the bridge, two cars heading towards camera, a car and truck passing on the opposite side, the bridge lifting towers in background. Romantic shot of a woman wearing a cloche hat silhouetted in the foreground, looking out towards the Tees Newport Bridge as the sun sets, the water glistening in the river. Note: The bridge was designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson, built by the local company Dorman Long, and was the first large vertical lift bridge in Europe, and the largest in the world at the time. Context This accomplished record of the opening of Middlesbrough's magnificently industrial Newport Bridge was made by keen amateur filmmaker and chairman of the Tees-Side Cine Club, Tom H. Brown, and co-member Wilf Maxwell. Tom Brown followed his father into both the dental profession and cinematography as a hobby. He was equally happy acting for the camera. In addition to shooting home movies, documentaries and travelogues between 1930 and 1960, Tom and his wife, Kate Brown, both took parts in many Tees-Side cine club productions on location around Middlesbrough and the Cleveland area, the first a spoof melodrama made for the princely sum of 15 shillings in 1929, and later the ambitious Adventure of the Kiltoun Cup, Tom shamelessly hamming it up in his role as a spoof detective called 'Darelock Bones, The Sly Sleuth', a wink and a nod to the famous fictional character created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes. Amateur cameraman Wilf Maxwell also made documentaries and fiction with another associated amateur group run by Wilf Shaw, The Film Unit, Middlesbrough, producing accomplished non-fiction films such as Cleveland (1937-38), a film also acquired by the British Film Institute's educational department. A clock maker by trade, Wilf Shaw (1914-2008) was a World War Two aerial photographer and joined the Harwell science laboratories from 1940, later the Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE). He worked (secretly) with head-up displays (HUD) on Cold War military reconnaissance aircraft TSR2, and later on Concorde’s windshields. As far as we know, Shaw made no more films after the 1930s. Later in life, his early amateur filmmaking activities also remained a secret to his family. On his death, the hoard of 16mm film reels discovered at his home in Cambridgeshire came as a surprise to his daughter. The single span Tees Newport Bridge in Middlesbrough took just under three years to build and was officially opened on February 28th 1934 by the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). The bridge was constructed by Teesside firm Dorman Long in the depths of the Great Depression at a cost of £512,353. It stood at the site of the original Newport Ferry Crossing, and has since become an iconic Teesside landmark. Dorman Long was founded by Arthur Dorman and Albert de Laude Long in 1875 as ‘steel makers, constructional engineers and bridge builders’. They went on to construct many of the most famous bridges of the first half of the last century, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Tyne Bridge, and the Omdurman Bridge in Sudan. Newport Bridge was the first vertical lift bridge in England, and the largest in the world at the time, raised to a height of 120ft almost every day in the 1940s and 50s for river traffic on its way upstream to the once busy port of Stockton. The whole moving load weighed a colossal 5,400 tons and ten men were employed full time to operate it. In April 1952 the bridge was raised no fewer than 125 times. This landmark bridge was lifted for the very last time in a ceremony on 18th November 1990.