Scotswood Bridge is an important link between the west sides of Newcastle Upon Tyne and Gateshead. Take a step back in time to 1967 when the bridge first opened.
Chain Bridge over the River Tyne
The Chain Bridge between Scotswood and Blaydon was erected as a toll bridge in 1831, and was the first bridge over the Tyne completed in the industrial era.
Eventually, it became a public road without charge. By 1967, narrow pinch points meant it was struggling to cope with heavy traffic from cars.
Plus, in an age which happily swept away historic buildings and structures in inconvenient places, it was seen as too expensive to maintain.
At the end of this clip, we’ll see the Chain Bridge closed to all traffic and pedestrians. The demolition teams moved in soon after.
Building the Scotswood Bridge
We see people walking across the Scotswood Bridge, which is still under construction. Diggers work on the road underneath.
The new Scotswood Bridge cost £2.25m.
Opening the Scotswood Bridge
Next it’s the 20th March 1967.
We see Alderman Peter Renwick cutting a ribbon to officially open the Scotswood Bridge.
Alderman Peter Renwick was Lord Mayor of Newcastle in 1963 and 1964, and then Sheriff in 1967. Alderman Renwick was one of the key figures who tried to resurrect the dilapidated Blackfriars Friary in the 1960s. One of his suggestions was to open a city records office in the Newcastle site established by the Blackfriars in 1239 AD.
A large crowd watches, and then disperses across the new roads.
Four carriageways were constructed. In 1967, there was also room for two new lanes. The planners expected traffic levels to rise and for the new lanes to alleviate congestion.
Thanks to Newcastle Libraries for the public domain image of Scotswood Bridge and the Chain Bridge in 1966 used as the featured image for this page.