This film is part of Free

New Tyne Bridge

A rare film of an extraordinary occasion as King George V opens a breathtaking new steel bridge across the Tyne.

Amateur film 1928 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


On the 10th October 1928, thousands of wildly festive spectators crowd into the city and onto the banks of the Tyne. One of the finest steel bridges in the world, the New Tyne Bridge, is opened by King George V and Queen Mary amid the cheers, the din of ships’ sirens, factory buzzers, and the boom of a 21 gun Royal Salute. A marvellous crowd of faces fill the frame of this rare film as the people of Gateshead and Newcastle cross the bridge for the first time.

J. B. Priestley described the Tyne Bridge as “a bridge across steaming space”. One of the world’s most recognisable engineering structures, the New Tyne Bridge was designed in London, constructed in sections on Teesside by Dorman Long, and brought to the Tyne by sea. This is an extremely rare local topical of the opening, probably unique, produced by an early cine club, the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association, which was founded by James Cameron in 1927. Sadly sound-on-film technology was in its infancy when this event was shot as silent footage, but there were some notable firsts at the event. A Movietone News recording of the King’s speech was made at the event, his first ‘talkie’.