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Old September 22nd, 2015, 08:35 PM   #621
Steve Ellwood
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Swing and High Level Bridge Model

This model is now located in the Discovery Museum In Blandford Square, Newcastle.

However I know it well from my childhood when it was on display at the Science & Engineering Museum, Exhibition Park. Must be 50 years or so ago but I can well remember the joy of turning the Swing Bridge using the brass handle.

The model was lent to the museum by the Tyne Improvement Commission.

Images taken 10th September 2015

Images hosted on https://www.flickr.com/photos/steve-ellwood

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Old October 4th, 2015, 06:04 PM   #622
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Tyne Bridge Pylons

Originally Posted by No Opinion View Post
I always thought converting one of the Tyne Bridge towers would be an amazing bar/club.

The Quayside needs something dramatic to rejuvenate it since the boat left.

Although this time something a little less tacky would be good.
Yes the idea of converting the pylons of the Tyne Bridge into restaurants or bars has been mentioned over the years but nothing has ever got off the ground. I would imagine that in today's world it would perhaps be a bit of a health and safety/building regulations nightmare.

This piece ran in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle back in 2008 which makes interesting reading:

The best view on Tyneside
00:00, 8 Feb 2008 By Evening Chronicle

MORE than a decade’s dust fills the air as the creaking doors open and the wind whips through from the Tyne.

I am standing forty metres above Newcastle’s Quayside at the top of one of the Tyne Bridge Towers, the two huge structures supporting the bridge at either side of the river. The five-storey steel-framed structures are topped with a viewing platform, reached by a somewhat perilous climb up stairs and ladders which have lain dormant since 1995. That was the last time the public was able to use the lifts to travel up and down the towers from the bridge to the Quayside.

The creaky door opens, and, after climbing a small spiral of stairs, the tower’s spectacular interior is visible. Steel girders line the building, and a constant rattling can be heard as traffic thunders across the bridge above. The towers have seven floors, but these are only metal frames. The original plan when the bridge was built back in the 1920s was to use the towers as warehouse storage, but for local political reasons this was never realised. Now, 13 years after the lifts closed, an occasional idea is proposed to turn the towers into restaurants or bars, but nothing has ever got past the drawing board.

It is part of Kamran’s job to oversee the buildings’ maintenance, to keep the stone and steel foundations of one of the country’s largest bridges strong and clean. There was one time when the inspection team got a bit of a fright,” Kamran continues. “No one had been inside the top of the tower for some time and when they went in they found a man there who had basically been living there. He jumped out and I think everyone was a bit surprised. There were beer bottles and bedding. The building is maintained but we wouldn’t suggest coming in here by yourself. Many years ago there was a charge to use the lifts, but after a while that stopped,” says Kamran Ferdowsian, a structural engineer from Newcastle City Council as he opens the padlocked doors at the base of the north tower for us. They were continually vandalised and eventually the decision was made to close them.”

Kamran leads the way up more and more stairs until we reach a metal gantry I am assured is “safe” to walk around. The view back down over the metal girders to the ground below makes me nauseous. Kamran explains how a pest control team had to clean up this gantry a few years ago after the building suffered a pigeon infestation. They removed more than a ton of bird droppings. “It’s unbelievable what happens when they get in. They can be a real problem for buildings like this.” We stop to look at the door which opens up to the bridge itself, the place where people would enter to use the now defunct lift. An antique looking lantern is still attached to one of the nearby walls.

Read more @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/...neside-1466605

Previous discussions can be seen at the following links including some interesting photographs from newcastlepubs.:


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Old October 4th, 2015, 07:15 PM   #623
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It would take some money (and cleaning!) to convert but the result would be a unique and incredible space that would give the Quayside a huge draw to come back down to the river.

Imagine the views of an uplift Tyne structure from within cleaned windows, or balconies that project into the space.

From those wonderful photos it does seem like many of the structure for the floors are in but not laid. It wouldn't occupy the full height, but maybe the first 3 floors with some double height spaces.

Of course they would have to invest in some spikes to remove the seagulls and their associated guano mess.

On another note, Your photos of that model of the Swing Bridge also highlights the density of dwellings on the Gateshead side of the river. Whereas people may rightly bemoan the surrendering of industry on the Quaysides in our recent past, it is also prudent to point out that the wholesale loss of any kind of human scale inhabitation of the Gateshead Quays has also been lost. Newcastle Quayside looks amazing due to the juxtaposition of our famous huge structures and monuments with densely packed buildings filling all resulting space. Gateshead Quays has monuments in the Baltic and Sage, but the loss of dense built infill makes the whole areas a little too desolate.

I'd love to see the resurgence of the sites that have always had something on the cards until 2008. From Brett oils to Calliope, a development of small, dense modern buildings, either residential, office or leisure would really make the Quayside a unique and iconic site to be in, not just look at on a glossy brochure.

Last edited by No Opinion; October 4th, 2015 at 07:24 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 07:32 PM   #624
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The Tyne Bridge Tower would make a fantastic location for a museum detailing in the history of the famous River Tyne.

Many maritime related exhibition pieces could be relocated from The Discovery museum and re-homed on the banks of the Tyne. Access from both upper and lower levels it could contain bar/restaurant, shop, gallery, education facilities as well as the museum. The Iconic symbol of the city could also be it's most visited tourist attraction.

Ofcourse, it would take a vast sum of money to renovate the tower into such an attraction. If only this were looked into when all that millennium lottery cash and/or EU regeneration money was floating around from which most of the Quayside as we know it benefited from 20+years ago.

Sadly, I think the ship has sailed as far as The Tyne Bridge Towers are concerned. I don't think we'll see it in public use again, atleast in our lifetimes.
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bridges, historic newcastle, historic north east eng, history, millennium bridge, newcastle, newcastle transport, river tyne

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