TWO ENGLISH TRANSPORTER BRIDGES
By Dr Tosh Warwick
Wednesday 19 Jun 2019 15:59:00
Browse all GENERAL INTEREST articles
 

This Friday, June 21 (7-9pm) Warrington Town Hall Council Chamber will host the Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge (FOWTB) as part of an event that will celebrate two of England's most historically significant and unique bridges. 

The Warrington event will hopefully help to connect north east and north west industrial heritage.

Warrington Transporter


Warrington's gondola carrying a rail carriage across from the peninsula in 1928 (reproduced with kind permission of Unilever from an original in Unilever Archives)

Margaret Ingham, Chairman of FOWTB, and Manchester Metropolitan University historian Dr Tosh Warwick will present two talks on the history of the Warrington and Tees Transporter Bridges. The illustrated talks will tell the story of each bridge's role in the industrial heritage of the local area and look at some of the challenges and opportunities both structures pose in the twenty-first century.  Organisers hope that the event will help encourage collaboration and the development of future heritage links between the two areas.

Tees Transporter under construction

Tees Transporter Bridge under construction (Teesside Archives)

The two Grade II* listed structures share a common heritage with both having been constructed by Sir William Arrol and Co. in the 1910s to improve local industrial infrastructure.  The Cleveland Bridge-designed Tees Transporter Bridge, opened in 1911, connects Middlesbrough to Port Clarence and in recent years has been the subject of extensive heritage-led regeneration works supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The enhancement works included the installation of a lift to the 160ft high upper walkway, gondola renovation, Visitor Centre improvements and the development of education resources.  Warrington Transporter Bridge (also known as Bank Quay Transporter Bridge or Crosfield's Transporter Bridge), designed by William Henry Hunter, was built in 1916 and crosses the River Mersey, although it has been out of use since about 1964. 

Margaret Ingham said: "We are delighted to be bringing together stories of these two iconic structures.  Since the formation of the Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge in 2015 we have seen awareness and interest in the Bridge's history increase rapidly and gain attention from around the world.  We hope that in promoting its heritage we can help secure the icon's long-term future."

Warrington Transporter

Warrington Transporter Bridge in 1920 (reproduced with kind permission of Unilever from an original in Unilever Archives)

Manchester Metropolitan University's Dr Tosh Warwick, who previously worked on the Tees Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience project, added: "The two bridges are symbols of their areas and provide tangible, important connections to Britain's industrial heritage.  Hopefully the event will act as a catalyst to exchange knowledge and identify ways to celebrate these iconic wonders of engineering and enhance connections between the North East and North West for the benefit of future generations."

Those interested in attending the event are encouraged to register through Eventbrite, Facebook Event or email contact@warringtontransporterbridge.co.uk.  There will also be an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the work of the Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge and to purchase souvenirs. 

 



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