Monday, 14 January 2013

The delights of Middlesbrough

It won't just be wild romantic moors, deep-cut dales with rivers in spate, and lonely windswept beaches frequented only by seals, when I go up north! There's an important industrial heritage to explore. Let me confess at once that industrial archaeology, as such, is not a huge thing for me. But my goodness, the signs of old industry do have an awful lot of photographic potential!

Back in September 2010 I spent half a day in Middlesbrough on Teesside. This was a great place for heavy port industries, and it was easy to take pictures like these on the north-east side of town:


But I don't want to give the impression that modern Middlesbrough is all dark satanic chemical works, belching smoke. The former workaday port area has been transformed with site clearances and the construction of large artistic fabrications:


And, of course, there is now a posh football ground, very smart indeed:



This poster was much in evidence during my visit. I think Middlesbrough had suddenly become aware of its awful reputation for being the most slobby and unhealthy place in England, and was determined to correct that slur:


Nor was culture lacking. Back in town there was the Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art, with a huge bottle outside, as a kind of statement that was Middlesbrough was hip:


But the major must-see draw in Middlesbrough has got to be the Transporter Bridge, which I took Fiona onto, en route to Hartlepool:


That's Fiona in pole position. She was then only a few months old, bless her. The Transporter Bridge is a brilliant way to cross the river. It's just like the one in Newport, South Wales, only busier.

I'd really recommend Middlesbrough as a destination, although not if you are keen to see the sun. I don't think they can do sun. But it's got a good Debenhams. And a House of Fraser. And a theatre. I didn't try the local fish and chips though. I didn't quite have the bottle to queue up for any, not in 2010. But in 2013? That could be a different story.

3 comments:

  1. Typical woman has to mention a couple of clothing stores! I can understand the fish and chip shop scenario and don't blame you for that Lucy but as you say you have moved on somewhat since then. The fish should be exceptional seeing as they are caught locally (?). I am fascinated with architecture, buildings and all kinds of man-made structures, less so some of the artwork although some of it is quite good.

    Shirley Anne x

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  2. Strange post industrial place, nice photos.

    have you seen the glass museum with glass roof which you can walk on? Friend helped set it up...

    Spent anxious time in Middlesborough when a voltage regulator was broken and I could not stop the car for fear of never getting started again. parking a car with the engine running is scary, someone fixed it for me there and then, never had such good service.

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  3. I had a boyfriend from Middlesborough. I still keep in touch with one or two friends from those days. I hope that the new football ground has better ladies loos than the old ground.

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