Middlesbrough is a large industrial town situated on the south bank of the River Tees in North Yorkshire, England and was my home for almost 20 years during the 1970's. Although I no longer live there it's a town I still have fond memories of.

One of Middlesbrough's most famous landmarks - The Transporter Bridge - was designed by the Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company, constructed by Sir William Arrol & Company and opened on October 17th, 1911 at a cost of £87,316. Often threatened with closure in the past, it is now seen as Teesside’s iconic symbol. The bridge survived German bombing raids in both world wars – by a Zeppelin in 1916 and by a bomber plane in 1940.

An old postcard showing the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough. The Transporter was famously featured in the TV series "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet", in the film "Billy Elliot" and on the video and cover of the single "High" by the Lighthouse Family. In March 1974, funnyman Terry Scott wrote off his Jaguar when driving it straight off the Transporter’s approach road as he believed it to be a normal bridge.

Albert Park gates then and now. The first image showing an old postcard and a more modern photograph - copyright © Stan Laundon. How nice, too, to see the Grade II listed Memorial Clock inside the park. Clicking on the images will open them in a slightly larger size.

A postcard showing Albert Park gates and the Memorial Clock from inside the park.

Another old postcard - but this time showing the cenotaph and looking towards the Albert Park gates and the Memorial Clock.

Albert Park yet again - and note the old style dress on the young boys and ladies.

The Museum in Stewart Park, Middlesbrough. The park covers approximately 120 acres of mature woodland and houses the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum.

Two postcards of the Royal Exchange with the statue of Henry Bolckow in the centre of the postcards.

The Exchange and Post Office - another wonderful old postcard showing as it used to be!

I can't help wondering how many people, like me, wish that some of these wonderful old buildings were still standing. This is The Grand Opera House and stunning it is, too - despite a spelling error on Middlesbrough!

Linthorpe Road at the Grange Road corner and how nice to see those old painted advertising signs on the sides of buildings or 'ghost signs' as they are known.

There's such a lot going on here with Boots the chemist on the right and the Manfield Boots store.

How times have changed here, too, with The Market Place in St. Hilda's.

A picturesque postcard with various views of Middlesbrough showing Albert Park, Linthorpe Road, Albert Road & Town Hall and the Lake in Albert Park.

Another really old postcard showing more various scenes of Middlesbrough including a general view the town centre, the Transporter Bridge, Corporation Road, Dorman Museum, Sadler Memorial, General Post Office and the Opera House.

Two almost identical postcards showing the Town Hall and Municipal Buildings in Middlesbrough town centre.

The Central Public Library in Victoria Square, Middlesbrough, was built between 1909 and 1912 by S.B. Russell and T.E. Cooper of London under part patronage of Andrew Carnegie. The building is Grade II listed.

These postcards date to 1904 and show a lot of activity outside Middlesbrough Railway Station. I know both cards look identical but, as one is colour and the other black and white, I thought I would include them on this page. They can be seen slightly larger by clicking on the images.

No date on this on I'm afraid but you can clearly see it's an old postcard showing the railway station as it was many years ago.

A lovely postcard, produced by W & T Gaines of Leeds, showing Albert Bridge with the railway station to the left.

Another lovely old postcard showing the Dorman Museum in Linthorpe Road. You can see a close up photograph of the dome in the right hand column.

Getting more up to date are these two photographs of the "Tuxedo Royale" which lays in a very sorry state on the River Tees. It's been described as a "potential hazard" as it has been rusting at this location since 2011. Now a decision has been made to have it moved despite campaigners efforts.

The former National and Provincial Bank in Cleveland Street was designed in 1872 by architect John Gibson. It is now the Cleveland Club.

This photograph of the ABC Cinema in Middlesbrough, at the junction of Borough Road and Linthorpe Road, is courtesy of Dusashenka's Old Cinema Photographs and used with thanks. At the time it was showing the Elvis Presley film "Roustabout" which dates to 1964. You can read more about the movie on the IMDB website.

The Shakespeare

The stone engraving and architecture on The Shakespeare public house in lower Linthorpe Road is quite impressive. It is a Grade II listed building.

The Grade 1 listed building Acklam Hall at night. This manor house was built for Sir William Hustler in 1678 and was part of a large estate. The house was restored in 1845 and became a secondary school in 1936. It is one of the oldest and finest domestic buildings in Cleveland, England. At present it is run by Cleveland College.

Another night image of the impressive Acklam Hall. You can see a series of internal photographs of this wonderful building on the Historic England website.

The staircase inside Acklam Hall, looking towards the beautifully carved ceiling dome. Acklam Hall is not open to the public so I was honoured to have gained access to record the inside of this beautiful building.

A more modern view of Middlesbrough with Temenos. This sculpture, by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, stands almost 164ft (50m) high and 360ft (110m) long. The giant dual-ringed public art installation was constructed in the Middlehaven area of the town in 2010 at a cost of £2.7m and took four months to piece together. Thousands of metres of steel wire were woven between the two steel rings to create the sculpture. The Riverside Stadium, home of Middlesbrough Football Club, can be seen to the right.

An unusual and impressive view of the Riverside Stadium - home of Middlesbrough Football Club. This was taken during a boat trip I made up and down the River Tees during July 2012.

Two photographs of Newport Bridge taken five years apart. The one of the left dates to 2011 with the newly painted one in May, 2016. The bridge was opened in 1934 as a “lifting bridge” which lifts horizontally between two towers supported on wire ropes at each end of the span. Teesside iron and steel works, Dorman Long, fabricated the steel for the bridge. Originally 12 men were employed to man the bridge around the clock and during the 1940s and 50s and average of 800 vessels per year would pass beneath it. The lifting mechanism was locked down permanently in 1990 and no longer raises.

The two photographs directly above - The Transporter Bridge taken through the Vulcan Street Wall and The Dorman Museum Dome at Night - are from a book, released in August 2015, from Amberley Publishing titled "Secret Middlesbrough" by Paul Chrystal and Stan Laundon and sells for £14.99 or direct from Amberley's own website at £13.49.

Middlesbrough may have only been a hamlet in the early nineteenth century, but that all changed with the arrival of the Stockton & Darlington Railway; this led to the former farmstead soon becoming a cauldron of industrial activity, an early ‘powerhouse of the north’. It is also home to much impressive industrial architecture that is recognised the world over, including the truly iconic Transporter and Tees Newport Bridges, both living, and still working, testaments to the town’s industrial past. The book also includes a feast of ‘secrets’ from Stockton, Yarm and Redcar. "Secret Middlesbrough" delves into the hidden past and reveals tantalising tales, traditions and trivia that will fascinate and inform anyone interested in these famous towns.

The Vulcan Street Wall formed the southern boundary of the Cleveland Salt Company works which operated on the land between Vulcan Street and the River Tees from 1887 to 1947. The company produced 879,972 tons of salt over 59 years by evaporating brine pumped from the salt bed which underlies the Tees estuary. The wall, which is also featured in the “Secret Middlesbrough” book, was restored by Cleveland Community Task Force in association with Middlesbrough Borough Council and the Davy Corporation in 1982.

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