Swing Bridge - Dodging the showers late afternoon, but early evening it turned out beautiful. Here we have the Swing Bridge over the River Tyne, which lies between the Tyne Bridge and the High Level Bridge, and does what its name suggests - its 85.6m cantilevered span swinging around a central axis through 360° to allow vessels to pass on either side of it. The hydraulic power to move the bridge is derived from electrically driven pumps. This feeds a hydraulic accumulator sunk into a shaft on the side of the river, the water is then released under pressure which runs the machinery to turn the bridge. The mechanism used for this is still the same machinery originally installed by William Armstrong.
The previous bridge on the site was demolished in 1868 to enable larger ships to move upstream to Armstrong's famous Elswick Engine and Ordnance Works. It was designed by Armstrong, with work beginning in 1873. It was first used for road traffic on 15 June 1876 and opened for river traffic on 17 July 1876 and stands on the site of the Old Tyne Bridges of 1270 and 1781, and probably of the Roman Pons Aelius.
And a nice old postcard of the bridge in action here: