Journeys in the North East - (Part 2) ' Tog on The Tyne

Blog - Phil-osophy on Landscape Photography > Journeys in the North East - (Part 2) ' Tog on The Tyne
19/11/2014 - 01:15



After a morning and early afternoon exploring the quietude of the Strother Hills, in the Derwent Valley, the later part of the day was spent by contrast amidst the urban hum of Tyneside.



The afternoon and evening was spent wandering about Tyneside, with its pleasing mix of heritage and modern architecture. I was immediately struck by the enormity of the breadth of the River Tyne as we walked over the High Level Bridge from the Gateshead side. We stopped near the middle of the vast bridge for me to make a panorama, looking down over the Swing Bridge, Tyne Bridge and the Millenium Bridge. I am sure to be the umpteenth person to have considered & made a panorama from this vantage point, but the vibrant hues of the city and its recently re-painted bridges seemed worthy of my attempt – at least for my own record.


'The Tyne' - a 4-section panoramic view from the High Level Bridge – looking towards the Swing Bridge, Tyne Bridge & Gateshead Millennium Bridge.


The Hydraulic Swing Bridge was completed and opened for road traffic without any ceremony on the 15th June 1876. The swinging portion was first used on the 17th July 1876 when the "Europa" of the Italian Navy, passed up to the Elswick Ordnance Works to take on board a gun, weighing 100 tons, for the Italian Government.




The first bridges across the River Tyne were built by the Romans. Pons Aelius was a fort and Roman settlement at the original eastern end of Hadrian's Wall, at the site now occupied by The Castle, in Newcastle.  When Emperor Hadrian (whose family Nomen was Aelius) visited Britain in AD122 and first saw the need for a frontier wall and bridge to be built.



The Aelian Bridge was unique among bridges outside Rome for being the only one in the Empire with an imperial epithet, which suggests  it was deemed important enough to have such status.

Some remains of the bridge were discovered in 1872 during the construction of the Swing Bridge over the Tyne. There were two stone abutments and so far only two piers have been located, but ten are estimated to have existed. The total span of the Roman bridge from Gateshead to Newcastle is estimated to have been 234 metres (768 ft).




We carried on over the High Level Bridge to Newcastle, which seemed to be a nice city in terms of its interesting architecture. I had a go  at making another panorama from two individual frames in the lowering light of late afternoon / early civil twilight of the Tyne Bridge, Sage Gateshead and Millenium Bridge.



'Crepuscular Tyne' - a 2 frame panoramic view of the Tyne and Millenium Bridges, in the civil twilight.




 The Tyne Bridge was officially opened by HM King George V accompanied by H.M Queen Mary on 10th October 1928. Mott, Hay and Anderson designed the bridge and the contractors were Dorman Long & Co., Ltd of Middlesborough. The main span is 531ft. The granite-faced towers were intended to be used as warehouses consisting of 5 floors but the work to construct the floors was never completed.


The Gateshead Millennium Bridge, (a.k.a. the Winking Eye Bridge, due to its shape and tilting mechanism) was the first opening bridge to be built across the River Tyne for more than 100 years. It was designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and engineers Gifford & Partners. Work first started on the bridge in May 1999. It was opened to the public on 17 September 2001 and was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II on 7 May 2002




I felt that going back over to the Gateshead side to photograph Newcastle, from that aspect, in the coming twilight to be an intriguing and hopefully fortuitous idea.


We walked down the old quayside in the fast disappearing light and I made the panorama below (from 6 individual frames stitched together). I liked the mixture of the remnant hazy gloaming light to the west with its transition to the cloudy twilight to the east and the glow of artificial light, a pleasing ambience that seemed to accentuate the grand architecture of the riverside and the skyline.



'The Edge of Darkness' - 6 frame panoramic view from the Swing Bridge to the edge of the Tyne Bridge - looking at the Newcastle side of the River Tyne from Gateshead quayside



The High Level Bridge was opened to traffic in August 1849. Queen Victoria crossed it a month later, 28th September 1849. The bridge has a two-deck structure upper deck is a railway line and the lower is a roadway. The bridge is made up of six spans of 125 ft. It has a clear headway over the river of 82 ft.



Before folding up the tripod and packing the camera away I saw an opportunity of a further photo of the appealing arc of the Tyne Bridge on the Newcastle side.




'Arc of Tyne'



Impressive architecture indeed and tastefully illuminated in the twilight and darkness.






margaret and john
20/11/2014 - 22:42
What fascinating and well-captured constructions of the Tyneside Bridges...the pictures taken at night, and the wonderful lighting really enhance the beauty of them. A clever mix of art and engineering...and clever photography.

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