A watercolour showing the several bridges over the River Tyne between Newcastle Upon Tyne and Gateshead.
First is the High Level Bridge opened by Queen Victoria in 1849, comprising two levels – one for road traffic and the top for trains.
Next is the Swing Bridge, opened in 1876; this is a road bridge swinging through ninety degrees to let large ships pass.
Then the single span Tyne Bridge, a road bridge, opened by King George V in 1928.
Finally, you can just see the Millenium Bridge opened in 2001 by Queen Elizabeth ll. This last bridge, for pedestrians, pivots on an axis and is often called ‘the blinking eye bridge’.
The Swing Bridge at Newcastle upon Tyne, painted in watercolour, was built in 1876 by Tyneside engineer William Armstrong. He built it at his own cost to allow large ships, such a battleships, to sail further up the River Tyne to be fitted with armaments at his engineering works.
The bridge, allows road traffic to pass between Newcastle and Gateshead and is operated by innovative hydraulic power of its time, swinging through ninety degrees. The original hydraulic engine still operates the bridge to this day. In the background can be seen St. Nicholas’ Cathedral and the Castle.
This painting in acrylic shows the city of Newcastle upon Tyne viewed from South of the river Tyne on the Gateshead side.
The Swing Bridge was a 19th century feat of engineering of its time, by Armstrong’s Engineering works sited about half a mile upstream. The road bridge is able to turn through 90 degrees to allow passage of ships along the river, some of them Battleships on their way to Armstrong’s works to be fitted out with armaments.