Saturday, 4 July 2015

Summertime scavenger hunt - repeats



These are alternatives for number 6. A Metal bridge. This is our Tranny. The Transporter Bridge. There are only eight in the whole world and three of them are in the UK Ours here in Newport and another in Middlesboro that works differently but dominates the skyline just like ours and one in Warrington that is not working..
Here's the history lesson
It was commissioned to enable the workers from the Lysaghts ironworks to get across the river from where they lived to where they worked without having to travel two miles along the west bank of the Usk to get to the town bridge and then two miles down the east side to get to the works.
Because the River Usk, along with  the Bristol Channel has the second highest tidal rise and fall in the world the road base had to be very high above the river so that ships coming to the docks could get through on a high tide ( they needed the high tide to get into the docks). The banks are low at this point so a traditional bridge would have been too steep for traffic to use.
Ferdinand Arnodin designed our bridge with a platform that hung from the bogie on the top of the bridge and the bogie was propelled across the girders by cables and a motor and the traffic could park in the platform and be "transported" across.
Now a personal story
In the late 1970s - before I met him - Mr M was working at Lysaghts (now called Orb Electrical Steels, where he still works) and he had been out with a friend and was going home to change before making a night of it "on the town" he drove onto the gondola as the platform is called and it started across the river. The gondola stopped halfway across the river because the cable that turns the thingy that makes the bogie go across the girders broke. after sitting there for four hours they were eventually winched back to the side they had started from and they had to go the long way around. He has never been on it since.

12 comments:

Maria Ontiveros said...

Oh how I love your stories!
Thanks so much for sharing,
Rinda

Sandie said...

I have stayed in Newport and the transporter bridge was one reason we chose this base for our visit. Such fun travelling on it and it is such a impressive piece of engineering. Hoping to visit Middleboro one someday. This metal bridge ticks my box!

alexa said...

That's the most splendid metal bridge I have seen. Doesn't it just dominate the skyline? Very handsome. Like your story about Mr M!

debs14 said...

What a great story!

BJ said...

Great set of photos, love the columns, BJ

Lady Ella said...

Perfect bridge for the hunt!

nancy y said...

very cool bridge - and if you said tranny here in the states it would mean something totally different!

Karen said...

Scrolled through a lot of your scavenger hunt posts! You've done very well. Love the architectural columns; very unusual!

Cathy Keller said...

Thank you for this post!!! Yes, indeed, you have done very well!! Have a grand weekend!

Maria Ontiveros said...

I lvoe hearing the story with your post.
Thanks for linking up.
Rinda

Maggie said...

That is a fascinating story.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

This is super!! Loved reading the history of this. I can not be sure, but this is similar to a 'draw bridge' --- we had one in our area, but they tore it down for progress.

I joined in this time around and posted my finds. If you'd care to stop by for a visit, I'd love your company!!