Favorite thing: Unfortunately, Middlesbrough has no luggage storage facilities. None at the coach station, none at the train station, none at the shopping mall. The only people willing to keep an eye on my luggage were the friendly people at the Dorman Museum while I was visiting the exhibition. But please, do not use the museum as a cloakroom!
The Bottle Of Notes is one of Middlesbrough's newest landmarks and is already staking a claim to fame. It's an urban sculture of a bottle, the framework and interior of which contain samples of "notes" (diary entries) written by Captain James Cook..
It can be found in front of the new law courts.
Visit the Cellnet Riverside Stadium - if you're a football fan. The team are currently in the Premier Division. Stars on show at the moment include England internationals Gareth Southgate and Ugo Ehiogu, Slovkian international Szilard Nemeth, Aussie internationals Mark Schwarzer & Tony Vidmar, Cameroon internationals Geremi & Joseph Desire Job and the Italian talent of Massimo Macarrone. (We also had the newly retired Croatian Allan Boksic at the club - but we never saw the best of him ... in fact we saw very little of him at all!)
Middlesbrough were one of the few teams to have beaten Manchester United twice last year! Alex Ferguson must feel haunted by his ex coach Steve McClaren
Fondest memory: Watching Middlesbrough's last home game at Ayresome Park. It had been a place that I had spent many happy hours since my first 'live' football match way back in 1981. As well as first team games at the stadium I also went to watch the reserve team playing too.
There is not a great deal I remember about the Middlesbrough/Billingham area. My fondest memories were spending time with family. Having my first shakey experience at ice skating and being taught (or rather being raced around the rink!) by an ex Billingham Bomber :-), being introduced to Baby Shams, 50/50's, White Russians and Mushy Peas. Being taken along to various local pubs and hardly understanding anyone. Exploring the wonderful Lake District, York, the Dales, the Moors and Whitby. Those certainly are my fondest memories.
When I found out my best buddy Murph (the fella on the right in the above picture) was being transfered out to England I promised him (and myself) that if he would be there for more than a year I would visit. Fortunately he was, and I began a great journey. For most people at trip to England is not much more than a visit to London, and I feel very fortunate to have spent a good deal of time in Yorkshire, getting to meet lots of friendly and down to Earth locals, drinking in pubs and admiring the rugged yet oh so green countryside.
Pictured: High Street, Redcar
Redcar: A nice town on the North Sea. Nothing much of interest for tourist, but lots of friendly people! The locals told me that 'Iron Lady' and 'Woman In Disguise'* Maggie Thatcher has a summer home here.
* If you get that reference please email me, you are cool.
Scarborough: Will always have a place in my heart as it was the first castle I'd ever seen. The locals were lulling the fine spring day at the beach and the town was dead.
Whitby: Stunning, evocative and certainly worth a visit (or at least a seperate listing here on VT!)
Middlesbrough: I only spent five minutes here, three of which were spent in the loo. I really had to go!
What is it with Middlesbrough and bridges? Not one, but two unique styles of bridge (The Transporter is one of only two, the Newport Bridge is the only one of it's kind).
After the chemical works at the top of this page, this is usually the other thing most people see as they approach middlesbrough, but few realise it's a bridge!
The whole bridge lifts up on great chains at each end, or at least it used to. The cost of maintainig it became too great and it no longer operates. Still looks good though!
You drive your car onto a platform (the yellow thing, below) and the whole platform is carried across the river by a bogie on the top of the bridge. It's unreal! It costs less than 1 UK pound to take your car and passengers across, which considering how much it costs to maintain the bridge is remarkable value for money.
When you get to the other side, turn straight round and come back. You don't want to be on the other side!
The Transporter Bridge is Middlesbrough's most famous landmark an justifiably so. It's a magnificent structure, designed to carry traffic across the river while allowing clearnace for the large ships that used to use the river.
The bridge isn't quite unique, there's another one at Newport in Wales, and there used to be one in Runcorn in Cheshire. The bridge is a protected monument and costs a fortune to keep it running. Take a trip on it to help pay for it's upkeep.
Middlesbrough's Town Hall looks strangely out of place! It looks like it should belong in Brussels or somewhere, not Middlesbrough!
The only decent looking building in Middlesbrough centre, it's 'crypt' is the home to a smaller concert venue (Robbie Williams played here before he was 'huge').
Unlike say The Thames Barrage, this is not intended to stop flooding, but rather to stop the horrible murky water of the river Tees getting back upstream at high tide. It works too, with a great improvement in river quality upstream of the barrage.
In addition, the barrage has provided the Tees White Water course, a man made canoe & rafting course. You can book time on the course and can also hire equipment.
Fondest memory: One of my favourite memories of Middlesbrough was going to Rea's for an ice cream when we had been to Albert Park. Unfortunately the cafe is no longer there as their son had another occupation in mind.
After seeing the town, have a ride into the countryside and to Helmsley, a nearby small market town because the scenery en route is fantastic.
Fondest memory: I miss the view from my house of the Cleveland Hills when I am away.
Fondest memory: The years I spent at University there - it's where I met my wife. See, some good does come from Middlesbrough, after all!
Favorite thing: Just beyond all the industry of Teesside is The Cleveland Hills, a lovely area to go walking and/or mountain biking.