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, opened in 1928 by King George V, is one of Britain’s most iconic structures, a Grade II* listed building. Linking Newcastle and Gateshead, this symbol of Tyneside and the region is also a monument to the Tyne’s industrial past. Paul Brown’s popular history explores what the bridge means to the people of North-East England, and its deep connection with their heritage.
Brown recounts the story of the bridge’s predecessors, from the Roman Pons Aelius–the first crossing over the Tyne–to the Victorian era. He then brings to life the individuals who built the modern bridge: Ralph Freeman, the structural engineer who also designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge; Dorothy Buchanan, the first female member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, who produced drawings and calculations; John Carr, the boatman who bravely rescued workers from the Tyne on dozens of occasions; and the scaffolder Nathaniel Collins, the only man not to survive construction of the arch, who fell from the bridge just weeks before its completion.
This richly illustrated book charts the Tyne Bridge’s story right to the present, exploring how it remains a North-Eastern cultural emblem, in a region that has changed almost unrecognisably since its heyday in the late 1920s.
‘Th[is] book is a must-read.’ — Chronicle Live
‘[The Tyne Bridge] instantly jumps into the pantheon of my ‘favourite Newcastle books’!’ — The Newcastle History Blog
‘The Tyne Bridge, symbol of home and identity, is my favourite structure in the whole world and this book tells its tale–and that of its remarkable predecessors–with a rich plethora of wonderful stories. A very entertaining read.’ — Michael Chaplin, playwright, and author of Newcastle United Stole My Heart: Sixty Years in Black and White
‘The bridges over the Tyne have long captured the Geordie imagination and Paul Brown has written a gripping account of Tyneside’s own Arc de Triomphe.’ — Dan Jackson, author of The Northumbrians
‘Paul Brown’s focus on the intimate human stories sets this work apart from the rest. While you should expect an insightful and comprehensive history of the bridges themselves, you will be delighted with the effort taken to shine a light on the touching stories that make the Tyne Bridge so magnificent.’ — Kieran Carter, founder of the North East Heritage Library
‘A magnificent feat of engineering, linking Newcastle and Gateshead across the Tyne, Paul Brown’s biography of our great bridge is a testament to the drive, resilience and engineering ingenuity of the people of the North East.’ — Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central
‘The Tyne Bridge merited a book which Geordies can be proud of. Paul Brown nailed it with diligent research and expert storytelling.’ — Andrew Hankinson, author of Don’t applaud. Either laugh or don’t (At the Comedy Cellar) and You Could Do Something Amazing with Your Life [You are Raoul Moat]
‘A Big River needs a big bridge and a brilliant book. A comprehensive and heartfelt tribute to the Geordie Golden Gate.’ — Biffa, NUFC.com
Paul Brown is a freelance writer 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.