“Poking over the rooftops I could see a bright blue structure. At first I thought it was a shipyard crane, then the penny dropped. Kathy had brought me to Middlesbrough & I was looking at the famous Transporter Bridge. I resolved to get a closer look.

Having glimpsed the bridge over the rooftops I picked my way through the streets ignoring Kathy trying to take me to Durham. I did consider asking her to take me to the bridge but I didn’t know how I’d ask not knowing where it actually was. (I might have had better luck asking James Brown.) Eventually I drove amongst factories & warehouses. Suddenly it was there.

Despite its age it was impressive. Over 800 feet long, rising 160 feet above the river it was vibrant blue & looked surprisingly good for a disused contraption. I walked towards the thing, half expecting to be told to sod off by some security guard & took my photo elated that I had got this close & not been shooed me away.

Then a curious thing happened; cars issued fourth from somewhere. Initially I didn’t understand what I was seeing & wondered where they’d come from. Was there a closer car park, perhaps a factory that had stopped for lunch?

I had the impression that the reason the TV story had been written was because the bridge was disused & could, conceivably, be taken down. Then I realised the blindingly obvious. Surely it wasn’t operational? It’s amazing how one preconceived idea can affect your whole perception.

Climbing back into the Truck I drove forward. After a few minutes, during which I had time to have a good look, the operator appeared & waved me on. I was going to have the bridge to myself.”

Extract from #InSatNavWeTrust – a search for meaning through the Historic Counties of England. Find out more here: https://jack-barrow.com/travelogue-in-satnav-we-trust/