Film: 1026

Road Transport | 1900 | Silent | B/W


In heavy rain, the opening ceremony of the Newport transporter bridge, South Wales 1906

Smartly dressed people with umbrellas and tall policemen. A civic event with Newport's mayor and other worthies standing around. Men wear top hats and tip them politely. The arrival of Viscount Tredegar and the opening ceremony. The elderly Viscount and his daughter (?). They shake hands with the mayor. Man draws an envelope from inside his coat which he gives to the lady. A crowded group of people. On the transporter bridge. Men raise their hats to cheer as the bridge starts off. Point of view approaching the West side. Children stand on the muddy banks of the river. A few spectators and bridge officials await the arrival of the bridge. The stern of a ship, the "Elswick Park" of Newcastle with many women crowded onto it. Point of view of approaching the East side.
Completed in 1906, the now (2002) unique Grade 1 listed structure is the essence of industrial development in Newport. Designed by the eminent French bridge engineer, Ferdinand Arnodin, this aerial ferry was built to provide safe passage across the River Usk, with its great tidal range and thus enable the development of the Orb Steelworks on the East bank of the River Usk. The bridge provided a crossing at all stages of the tide using a 'gondola' suspended from a high level travelling frame, which in turn allowed shipping to pass freely beneath it. It stands 75 metres above the river and has a 210 metre span and is now the largest remaining example of a transported bridge left in the world

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