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The Tyne Bridge: Icon of North-East England

A compelling account of how engineering, architectural ingenuity, a region’s great industrial tradition, and the labour of thousands came to span the Tyne.

The Tyne Bridge is one of Britain’s most iconic structures. Linking Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead, it has become a symbol of Tyneside, an emblem of the region’s cultural identity, and a monument to the Tyne’s industrial past. 

Construction on the bridge began in 1925, and to mark the upcoming anniversary, Paul Brown has launched a book, “The Tyne Bridge”, which celebrates 100 years of the bridge and everything that makes it special. It’s a tribute to the ingenuity and skill of the men and women who built such a marvel of engineering. The book is a record of the forgotten history of the bridge and its predecessors that crossed the Tyne. It’s an exploration of what the Tyne Bridge means to the people of the North East and why it has such a deep connection with those who live here. For Geordies, the Tyne Bridge is “Wor Bridge”.  a symbol of who we are. It’s an icon of North East England.

The Tyne Bridge, opened in 1928 by King George V, is one of Britain’s most iconic structures, a Grade II-star listed building. Linking Newcastle and Gateshead, it is a monument to Tyneside’s industrial past. This popular history explores everything the bridge means, and has meant, to the people of North-East England.

Paul Brown reveals the bridge’s predecessors, from the first Roman crossing to the Victorian era, then brings to life those who built the modern version: Ralph Freeman, who also designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge; Dorothy Buchanan, the first female member of the Institution of Civil Engineers; John Carr, the boatman who rescued dozens of workers from the Tyne; and scaffolder Nathaniel Collins, who fell from the bridge to his death just weeks before completion.

This richly illustrated book takes the Tyne Bridge’s story right to the present, exploring its deep connection with North-Eastern heritage and its importance as a cultural emblem, in a region almost unrecognisably transformed from its heyday.

Paul Brown (pictured left) is a freelance writer who has written for The Guardian, FourFourTwo and When Saturday Comes. Among his previously published books, two of which have been optioned by Hollywood studios, are Savage Enthusiasm: A History of Football Fans, and All with Smiling Faces: How Newcastle Became United.

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