The South Tyne rises on Alston Moor, Cumbria and flows through the towns of Haltwhistle and Haydon Bridge, in a valley often called the Tyne Gap. Hadrian's Wall lies to the north of the Tyne Gap. Coincidentally, the source of the South Tyne is very close to those of the Tees and the Wear. The South Tyne Valley falls within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - the second largest of the 40 AONBs in England and Wales.
The combined Tyne flows from the convergence point at Warden Rock just to the north west of Hexham, the area where the river's now thriving barbel stocks were first introduced in the mid-1980s, through Corbridge in Northumberland. It enters the county of Tyne and Wear between Clara Vale (in the Borough of Gateshead on the south bank) and Tyne Riverside Country Park (in Newcastle upon Tyne on the north bank) and continues to divide Newcastle and Gateshead for 13 mi, in the course of which it flows under 10 bridges. To the east of Gateshead and Newcastle, the Tyne divides Hebburn and Jarrow on the south bank from Walker and Wallsend on the north bank. The Tyne Tunnel runs under the river to limk Jarrow and Wallsend. Finally the river flows between South Shields and Tynemouth into the North Sea.
The North Tyne rises on the Scottish border, north of Kielder Water. It flows through Kielder Forest, and in and out of the border. It then passes through the village of Bellingham before reaching Hexham.
With its proximity to surrounding coalfields, the Tyne was a major route for the export of coal from the 13th century until the decline of the coal mining industry in North East England in the second half of the 20th century. The largest coal staithes were located at Dunston in Gateshead, Hebburn and Tyne Dock, South Shields. The dramatic wooden staithes (a structure for loading coal onto ships) at Dunston, built in 1890, have been preserved, although they were partially destroyed by fire in 2006. In 2016, Tyne Dock, South Shields was still involved with coal, importing 2 million tonnes of shipments a year. The lower reaches of the Tyne were, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one of the world's most important centres of shipbuilding, and there are still shipyards in South Shields and Hebburn to the south of the river. To support the shipbuilding and export industries of Tyneside, the lower reaches of the river were extensively remodelled during the second half of the 19th century, with islands removed and meanders in the river straightened.
Tunnel usage is forecast to rise to 43,000 per day by 2021. In March 2004 the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority launched a scheme to build a second, £139 million tunnel. The tunnel is slightly to the east of the existing tunnel, and the pairing allows each tunnel to serve two lanes of traffic, each travelling in the same direction; the original tunnel had two single lanes of traffic in opposing directions, representing an avoidable risk. The UK Government gave the go-ahead for the scheme in July 2005. Construction work started in spring 2008, with the new tunnel opening to two-lane bi-directional traffic on 25 February 2011, at which point the original tunnel closed for a ten-month refurbishment.
In March 2009, The Guardian newspaper reported that there was bullying at Tyne Tees that lasted for six years. One manager was accused of using inappropriate language about people with disabilities, women reporters, Chinese people and gypsies. The manager was disciplined after one inquiry, but then more journalists complained about the same manager. The manager defended himself by claiming he was using black humour. He finally left the company with a pay-off of about £50,000. The original whistle blower left the company in 2006 and was paid £80,000 after threatening to take his case to an employment tribunal. Following this incident, ITV adopted an anti-bullying programme. An ITV spokesman advised that the total cost of the five bullying investigations was £1 million.
Tyne Cyclist and Pedestrian Tunnel was Britain's first purpose-built cycling tunnel. It runs under the River Tyne between Howdon and Jarrow, and was opened in 1951, heralded as a contribution to the Festival of Britain. The original cost was £833,000 and the tunnel was used by 20,000 people a day. It actually consists of two tunnels running in parallel, one for pedestrian use with a 10 ft diameter, and a larger 12 ft diameter tunnel for pedal cyclists. Both tunnels are 900 ft in length, and lie 40 ft below the river bed. The tunnels are over 60 years old and are Grade II listed buildings.
Onshore sections of the new tunnel were built using the cut-and-cover method. Under-river sections of the tunnel were prefabricated, floated into position, immersed into a dredged trench, and covered with rocks. By beginning of November 2009, the land approaches to the tunnel had been excavated, and construction of the tunnel, in four 90 m sections, had been completed nearby. The dredger used to excavate the river section of the tunnel cutting arrived on site on 4 November 2009 to excavate 400,000 cubic metres of sediment, which was used to infill the defunct Tyne Dock, reclaiming 13 acre of land for use by Port of Tyne. Both ends of the tunnel finally met on 26 May 2010.
On 4 October 1917, the area where Tyne Cot CWGC Cemetery is now located was captured by the 3rd Australian Division and the New Zealand Division and two days later a cemetery for British and Canadian war dead was begun. The cemetery was recaptured by German forces on 13 April 1918 and was finally liberated by Belgian forces on 28 September.
At each end, the tunnels are connected to surface buildings by two escalators and a lift. The Waygood-Otis escalators have 306 wooden steps each, and are the original models from 1951. At the time of construction, they were the highest single-rise escalators in the UK, with a vertical rise of 85 ft and a length of 197 ft. In 1992, escalators with a higher vertical rise of 90 ft and 200 ft in length were constructed at Angel station on the London Underground. The Tyne Tunnel escalators remain the longest wooden escalators in the world.
Tyne Metropolitan College is a General Further Education College located in the borough of North Tyneside (one of five metropolitan districts that make up the Tyne and Wear conurbation) and predominantly serves the borough of North Tyneside and the wider hinterland including the Newcastle City Region, Northumberland and South Tyneside. The College is a major employer in the borough with around 300 employees.
The stone wall surrounding the cemetery makes-up the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, one of several Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorials to the Missing along the Western Front. The UK missing lost in the Ypres Salient are commemorated at the Menin Gate memorial to the missing in Ypres and the Tyne Cot Memorial. Upon completion of the Menin Gate, builders discovered it was not large enough to contain all the names as originally planned. They selected an arbitrary cut-off date of 15 August 1917 and the names of the UK missing after this date were inscribed on the Tyne Cot memorial instead. Additionally, the New Zealand contingent of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission declined to have its missing soldiers names listed on the main memorials, choosing instead to have names listed on its own memorials near the appropriate battles. Tyne Cot was chosen as one of these locations. Unlike the other New Zealand memorials to its missing, the Tyne Cot New Zealand memorial to the missing is integrated within the larger Tyne Cot memorial, forming a central apse in the main memorial wall. The inscription reads: "Here are recorded the names of officers and men of New Zealand who fell in the Battle of Broodseinde and the First Battle of Passchendaele October 1917 and whose graves are known only unto God".
Militarily Tyneside itself would be divided into eighteen districts, each with its own detailed plan of action. Beaufront Castle, between Hexham and Corbridge, was designated as the regional HQ. Industrialists met with the Regional Commissioner and the Military to arrange a scorched earth plan for Tyneside's major industries. Each was given a code word and, on receipt of their particular word, all machinery in their premises would be disabled by removing essential parts. Other signals, such as the ringing of church bells, would activate other plans: makeshift road blocks would appear all over Tyneside, in Newcastle itself at the West Road, Nuns Moor Road, Fenham Hall Drive, Shields Road, Walker Road, Heaton Road and Chillingham Road, for example; electricity would be cut by exploding charges at nodal points on the network; L.N.E.R. locomotives would disappear along country lines south of the Tyne (such as the Victoria Garesfield branch line) and then be disabled; on the Tyne and along the coast docks would be blocked and machinery disabled; fuel stores would be destroyed; the ferry landings at North and South Shields would be blown up and the ferries scuttled; and all major explosive and ammunition dumps would have their stocks either blown up or otherwise destroyed.
Renewed attention to suburban public transport in the 1970s led to the creation of the Tyne and Wear Metro, a light rapid transit system, much of which operated on the old Blyth and Tyne routes.
As soon as an invasion was confirmed, members of the 280th Field Company, Royal Engineers (based in Yorkshire), would rapidly advance north via Durham, Leadgate, Ebchester and Hexham and blow up more than 100 road, rail and foot bridges on the Tyne from the Rede Valley to Scotswood. The holes for the charges were already drilled (and the traces of many can still be seen to this day). Road approaches were to be mined and blocked by craters. The major bridges at Newcastle were to be mined but not blown up until the last minute; this was to enable any withdrawal of British forces southwards. One exception was the Swing Bridge, which was to be disabled.
The Metro system uses the Blyth and Tyne route from Newcastle to South Gosforth and on through Benton to Tynemouth; in addition the Airport branch uses part of the Ponteland branch, constructed after the end of the independent existence of the B&TR but regarded as part of the B&TR network.
Large-scale regeneration has replaced former shipping premises with imposing new office developments; an innovative tilting bridge, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge was commissioned by Gateshead Council and has integrated the older Newcastle Quayside more closely with major cultural developments in Gateshead, including the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the venue for the Turner Prize 2011 and the Norman Foster-designed The Sage Gateshead music centre. The Newcastle and Gateshead Quaysides are now a thriving, cosmopolitan area with bars, restaurants and public spaces. As a tourist promotion, Newcastle and Gateshead have linked together under the banner "NewcastleGateshead", to spearhead the regeneration of the North-East. The River Tyne had the temporary Bambuco Bridge in 2008 for ten days; it was not made for walking, road or cycling, but was just a sculpture.
The Tyne Gorge, between Newcastle on the north bank and Gateshead—a separate town and borough—on the south bank, is known for a series of dramatic bridges, including the Tyne Bridge of 1928 which was built by Dorman Long of Middlesbrough, Robert Stephenson's High Level Bridge of 1849, the first road/rail bridge in the world, and the Swing Bridge of 1876.
It was during the closure of the theatre and exploration of the building that the original 1867 stage machinery was discovered in situ and intact, along with the stage sets from the last show performed – all simply concealed behind the inserted cinema screen. The New Tyne Theatre and Opera House Company Limited was formed as an independent registered charity with the aim to restore and reopen the theatre for stage performances.
The Stoll cinema remained closed for three years, during which time a ‘Save the Stoll’ campaign had been started by Mr Jack Dixon. A protection order was placed on the building in 1974 and was the first step for the Tyne Theatre Preservation Group. In 1976, the Stoll Theatre Corporation agreed to lease the theatre to the Tyne Theatre Trust for 28 years.