THIS picture shows the opening of the Newport Transporter Bridge on 12th September 1906 by Godfrey Morgan, Viscount Tredegar. Despite the heavy rain the crowds were not deterred and Hundreds went over on the gondola and walked over the top of the bridge. A cigar cutter, in silver was presented to Viscount Tredegar as a memento of the occasion – this can now be seen in Newport Museum. The bridge was designed by Ferdinand Arnodin and representatives from Newport Borough Council went to Rouen, in France to see his bridge there before they decided to have one in Newport. Prior to this, a ferry operated between the banks of the Usk but in 1897 six men were drowned when the ferry was swamped – too many men had jumped on after their last shift.

Earlier in 1889, Newport Council had been discussing a tunnel under the Usk but the cost was prohibitive.

More facts about the Transporter Bridge and open days can be found on the website of the FONTB.

Monty Dart, Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge

The Now and Then picture shows Newport Transporter Bridge. it’s an important landmark.. as it brings in tourists to the city. There used to be a park called Coronation Park near the bridge, and I used to take my children there. I regularly used the bridge to go to work, nearby in the picture is the entrance to Newport Docks. The Waterloo Hotel is situated by the bridge and there used to be a few factories in the area too.

The bridge was closed for a long time, but I think it’s working again now.

Mrs M Reardon, Newport

The Now and Then picture shows the Transporter Bridge, the then picture must be on the opening day with several dignitaries posing in the picture. It was built originally for workers who live on one side of the River Usk to reach their workplace on the other side. It was a useful shortcut for the same purpose even in later years.

Brian J J Jelf, Newport

This is Newport’s famous Transporter Bridge spanning 645 feet of the River Usk. It’s great height of 177 feet was necessary to allow the passage of sailing ships. It was opened by Viscount Tredegar on the 12th of September 1906, work started in 1902. It was designed by M Ferdinand Arnodin the French engineer who built a similar bridge in Rouen. You can walk over the top of the bridge via steps on both sides. At one time – to the delight of small schoolboys – there was a workman’s toilet on the girders alongside the walkway, it consisted of a small hut containing a plank with a hole in it – nothing else – after all, there was the river below! Let us be thankful that there is a dedicated Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge to look after its interests and preserve it for future generations.

Dave Woolven, Newport.

I would like to comment on the previous week’s picture of FW Woolworths. I think in the early 60s the building was The Talbot Hotel and the South Wales Argus salesman used to sit in the foyer. I used to work on Stow Hill at the time and I remember anewspaper headline of the time being ‘Newsman makes news’ after the salesman became trapped in the foyer.

Mr Webb, Newport