Monday, 23 April 2018

A-Z Challenge 2018 - British Rivers: 'T' Tees

There are so many rivers beginning with 'T' - Tay, Tweed, Tyne, Tees, Trent,Thames, Test, Taw, Tamar - it's impossible to cover them all.

So I'll stick to the one I know best.

River Tees 'looping' round the town of Yarm
Here you can hardly miss the railway viaduct that appeared in my 'Theme Reveal' post.

Railway viaduct crossing the River Tees
That's it, together with the road bridge, at the left of the first photo.

Upstream of the viaduct the river looks very peaceful. A seal has been fishing there this week.

You can see the road bridge with the viaduct behind from this shot taken from down stream.

The name of Yarm is derived from the Anglo Saxon 'yarum' meaning 'fish pools'

The road bridge was built in 1400 by Walter Skirlaw, Bishop of Durham; now it is twice the width of that 1400 bridge, but original stonework still makes up part of the pillars you can see.

The first bridge over the Tees at Stockton, further downstream, was built in 1771. Until that time the port of Yarm had been the nearest place to the North Sea where River Tees could be crossed. As ships got bigger port facilities moved down river, first to Stockton, then and now to Middlesbrough.

When we first moved to Yarm in 1970 the Tees was a tidal river up to and beyond the town. It was not uncommon for the town to be flooded; high water heights are recorded on some buildings.

In the 1990s a tidal barrier was installed between Stockton and Middlesbrough. The Tees at Yarm is now no longer tidal with the water level controlled by the Tees Barrage.

Geese on the River Tees at Yarm
Raised floodgate on the Barrage
High Tide
Low Tide
Meanwhile back at Yarm the geese line up - 

For their turn in a gala on the River
We cannot leave the Tees without taking a look at some bridges further down river,

The Infinity Bridge at Stockton
(with the Tees Barrage in the background)
The Infinity Bridge was erected to celebrate the end of the 20th century.

You can walk alongside the River from the Infinity Bridge down past the Tees Barrage, alongside the Portrack Nature Reserve. Then if the mood takes you can cross over to the other side via - 

Newport Bridge
Designed as a lift bridge to allow ships to past, the road section is now fixed in place and only small craft pass to go up to the Barrage and through its lock to Stockton and beyond.

Along that stretch of the Tees you may, if the mood takes you, indulge some bird watching.

A curlew in the mud
Closer to the sea you come to Middlesbrough and the bridge that has become an icon for the town.

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge in action


Jo said...

Well you certainly do know the Tees best, although I was a bit disappointed you didn't do the Thames. I enjoyed this post particularly the picture of the Canada Geese. Presumably if the upper river is no longer tidal it is no longer salt, or is it?

Wendy said...

The Infinity Bridge certainly has graceful and modern lines, but nothing beats the charm of the brick viaduct in Yarm.

Bill Nicholls said...

You could have had the river Thame, it flows into the Thames at Dorchester

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Gosh Bob - what a great discourse on your River Tees - delightful to read and to see your photos - Yarm must be a good place to live - near the sea, on the river and lots of rural life around it ... cheers Hilary

Kristin said...

Were Canada Geese taken over or did they fly there or were they always there?
A SEAL was fishing there? Wow. That is one thing I never saw in the Pere Marquette in Michigan. Must be quite a sight to see.

Seema Misra said...

You've described the feel of the river really well, along with multiple photographs of the railway viaduct. Its so beautiful and clean.

Bob Scotney said...

Kristin - Canada geese were introduced to Britain in the 17th century but I have been unable to establish who by. In many parts of Europe they are regarded as an invasive species.

Jo said...

As far as I am concerned, Canada Geese are an invasive species in Canada LOL. You can't walk cleanly anywhere they group. If it's near water the ground is full of goose poop.