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Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge (FONTB)


The Transporter Bridge is open Wednesday to Sunday, 2 April – 28 September 2014

 and on Bank Holiday Mondays during Easter, May and August

 The volunteer-run Visitor Centre is open every day.

Full Details of opening times and charges


Don't miss our Fun Day starting at 10 am on Bank Holiday Monday 25 August (see below)

The Newport Transporter Bridge spans the River Usk in Newport, South Wales and is a Grade 1 Listed Structure. Its historic importance stems from its very unusual design. There are only two others like it in the UK and seven in the World. It is owned and run by Newport City Council and celebrated its centenary in September 2006.

Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge (FONTB) is a registered Charity founded in 1998 and dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Bridge. .

Our activities include running the Visitor Centre, publishing a regular Newsletter for members, organising visits to the Bridge for clubs, schools and other groups and giving presentations about the Bridge. We work in partnership with other charities during their fundraising events at the Bridge and award certificates to those who have been brave enough to walk across the top on Open Days. We also maintain an archive and this website.


Fun Day Bank Holiday Monday 25 August starting 10 am

The fun day has a super hero theme and there will be a childrens fancy dress competion for children under 11 years old. This will be judged at 3pm and there will be a £20 gift voucher for the first prize.

Heritage Bid

Representatives of the three British Transporter Bridges held a second meeting with Rolf Hoehmann of the Bureau of Industrial Archaeology to progress an international, serial application to UNESCO for World Heritage Status for the world’s surviving Transporter Bridges.

Of the eighteen Transporter Bridges built between 1893 and 1916 eight remain. They are Rochford in France, Osten and Rendesburg in Germany, Buenos Aires in Argentina and the three British Bridges, Newport, Middlesbrough and Warrington. Bilbao in Spain already has Heritage Status.

This second meeting, held at the Bridge Visitor Centre at Middlesbrough, was a follow up to the Celtic Manor conference held this time last year. Newport was represented by the Chairman of the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge, Councillor David Hando and Mike Lewis of the Newport Museum Service. The British bridges handed over bid material to Rolf, whose next visit is to Buenos Aires.

Rolf gave an up date on developments at the French, German and Argentinian bridges. He said that, although there was a long waiting list for Heritage Status, European medieval churches and castles were over represented. That gave an advantage to an international, serial application involving 20th century industrial archaeology. Nevertheless it would be a long process.

Meetings would be arranged in September with Cadw at Newport and English Heritage at Middlesborough.

Pctured below at the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge are (l to r) Mike Lewis, Rolf Hoehmann and David Hando





Sidney Robinson


We are sorry to have to announce the death of founder member, former Chairman and Life Vice-President Sidney Robinson on 19 January at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. Trustee Anne Gatehouse writes:

Sidney was born in Newport on 28th November 1914. He spent his working life in the shipping industry in Newport and Bristol. He had an amazing capacity for facts and his memory was phenomenal. He could walk into a building in Newport and tell you the history of it.

He was a founder member of FONTB and served as Vice Chairman and three years as Chairman, seeing us through the Centenary year of our Bridge. He supported all our events, on the Open Days still going ‘over the top’ into his nineties, he also helped me with many of the talks and was always ready with answers and information for the audience. He was so thrilled to receive a certificate for his chairmanship and later, when we made him a Vice President, he received another one. Both certificates had pride of place on the wall of his flat in Penarth which he kept immaculate.

Whatever I asked him for with regards to Newport and the Transporter Bridge, their history and heritage he always had the answer. Some times producing long explanations either written or typed, nothing was too much for him and his wealth of knowledge was amazing. I was so pleased that I set up a meeting, in my home, between Sidney and Professor Alan Jones, which resulted in the book ‘The River Usk’.

Sidney had many other interests in Newport, Penarth and Cardiff and belonged to many organisations. The main ones being The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, Newport Civic Society, Both Penarth and Cardiff History Societies and the Victorian Society. He always travelled by public transport sometimes not arriving home until midnight. Sidney nursed his wife for many years and when she passed away a few years ago he was proud to take her to Christchurch Cemetery via The Newport Transporter Bridge

I am proud to have known him and call him my Friend.

Anne Gatehouse
FONTB & Newport Civic Society


The Penarth Times carried an obituary on 30 January .

Sidney’s funeral took place on Wednesday 8 February and many of the Committee and some other members gathered at the Bridge to witness his last journey on the gondola, pictured below.











© FONTB (Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge) - Registered Charity No. 1102925