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Published 29th Jan 2018

The bridge at Waikawa Beach, New Zealand

You’re never far from Teesside steel – even on the other side of the world.

Julie Gordon moved to New Zealand in 2003, but always looks forward to visits home and a treasured view of the Transporter Bridge high above the Tees.

But she wasn’t prepared for a surprise local connection when she and husband Brett bought a weekend getaway at Waikawa Beach, an hour’s drive from their home in Wellington.

For when the couple took a closer look at the steel girders supporting the local bridge, they saw the familiar words ‘Dorman Long & Co Ltd, Middlesbrough, England’.

Julie said: “I’ve always had pictures of the Transporter Bridge up in the house as reminders of my home town.

“Waikawa Beach is gorgeous but I never guessed I’d find a real link to Middlesbrough there – 12,500 miles away.

“So you can imagine our surprise and delight when we saw that the little bridge there is made with steel from Dorman and Long in Middlesbrough.

“Brett’s been desperate to see the Transporter ‘in the flesh’, so that was one of our priorities for this trip to see the family.”

New Zealander Brett added: “We came three years ago, but unfortunately the Transporter was closed, so I’ve really been looking forward to coming back and seeing it close up.

“Finding the inscription on the bridge at Waikawa Beach has really made a personal connection for us.

“It’s been fantastic to finally go across on the Transporter and take the lift to the top.

“It really is an impressive structure, and the views from the top are absolutely stunning.”

Teresa Higgins, Julie’s mum and local ward Councillor for Longlands and Beechwood, said: “We’re fond of saying in Middlesbrough that we built the world – and Julie and Brett have found proof of that where they least expected it.

“They’ve been looking forward to this trip for ages, and I’m grateful to the team down at the Transporter for making them feel so welcome, and for helping to make it a truly memorable visit.”



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