Can't actually remember what month we did these, it was pretty cold though so must've been after the summer. Bordello came up from the South to see some Northern drains and climb some classic bridges, so after a Friday night and all day Saturday spent mostly underground in Yorkshire we blasted it up to Middlesborough, arriving in the middle of the night. We got our bearings, parked up, and went to have a look at the Tees-Newport bridge. Sitting on the stairs that led down under the bridge we could observe the traffic without being seen, our tripods, hoods and rucksacks were giveaway enough to anyone who'd care to notice us and the solid police presence in town was making us paranoid. The cars were still coming through thick and fast and for all three of us n00bs to pile onto the brightly lit bottom section felt foolhardy. We decided to come back later, instead opting to hit the taller Transporter bridge first.

It was pretty much just a case of negotiating the anti-climb measures in our own unique (and way more dangerous than was necessary) way, patting the camera that was facing utterly the wrong direction affectionately, and making our way up the stairs. That is, until a car pulled in right underneath us at a rapid pace. We all dropped to our bellies on the stairs, anxiously peering over and observing as the car's occupants disembarked and walked around below us. It was a tense 10 minutes, and I still have no idea what they were doing down there, Bordello said it looked like one of them was trying to sell the car to the other. Meh. They left and we dashed our way to the top double quick.

To our right lay the sinking TSS Tuxedo Royale, listing on one side and with her engine room submerged, and from our vantage point we could see that there was some kind of police chase going on in the grounds around the ship’s section of the riverbank – a large old steamer such as the Royale must be full of valuable metal, and in a town so disenfranchised as Middlesbrough, where unemployment due to the decline of the industries is so rife, it is no wonder that metal thieves have already damaged the Royale to the extent that she is certainly doomed to be scrapped - a tragedy considering that there are now so few turbine steam ships left. To the left we could see more industry splayed out on either side of the river, huge factories and dockyards, twinkling lights in the distance, and flames from the chimneys on the horizon.

We crossed the river at the top and got our photos. All too quickly though it was time to get down. Still grinning, I hopped over the gate and onto the gondola to fire off the last couple of shots on the roll. We still had unfinished business just around the corner.

10 minutes later and we were standing at the foot of the giant metal beast that is the Tees-Newport bridge for the second time that night. We already knew what we had to do, and it involved a single 55 metre ladder all the way to the top, our reasoning being that once we got above the streetlights if a car were to drive underneath us we would be invisible against the blackness of the structure so long as we kept movement to a minimum when they drove under, whereas should we have taken the staged ladders to the middle of the tower we would have been silhouetted against the night sky to anyone who cared to look up. Once again, on reflection, this was n00b thinking, however, it made for a balls-out climb and was, err, good exercise.

My arms were burning as I reached the top, Fredwaan following soon after me. Bordello was already off somewhere in the structure setting up his camera. We chilled up there for a lot longer than the Transporter, possibly because we knew getting back down was no stair job, but I started to really enjoy myself, despite the rust, peeling paint and pigeon shit.

With our self-appointed mission to the heavens completed we climbed back down the ladder and took our last few shots. Cars were still coming through at infrequent intervals but as the deed was done we had no qualms dicking about in the road, playing chicken with the oncoming traffic to get this one:

We got back to mine at maybe 9:00AM and hit the hay immediately. When we arose, still exhausted and delirious, there was only one question on everyone's minds. What activity to occupy ourselves with to cap it all off? Something relaxing, quiet and risk free? Not on your life, pal.

End Communication.