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Quick, what place had three dozen people in 1830 and has 150,000, now? You're absolutely right, it's Middlesbrough! Its explosive growth was "fueled" by the need to export coal from the South Durham fields around Darlington.

The world's first railway had opened up in 1825 to transport the coal to the Tees River port of Stockton. The problem was that Stockton couldn't accommodate the larger coal ships and so, a deeper-water port was needed. A group of local businessmen considered the problem and the "finger of fortune" fell upon the sleepy community of Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough would be sleepy no more, particularly with the discovery of iron ore in the nearby hills. Iron foundries sprang up along with other industries, such as steel mills and oil refineries. These industries have nearly all gone now, but are gradually being replaced with new ones, as the push is on for economic redevelopment.

The city's most famous son is the explorer, Captain James Cook, born in Marton in 1728. You can visit a museum at his birthplace. Modern-day Middlesbrough's most impressive feature is the Transporter Bridge. This giant, crane-like structure lifts autos and passengers into the air, and swings them across the River Tees. It is the only bridge of its kind in England (another is located in Newport, Wales) and one of the few in the world.

Related Links
Middlesbrough A short guide to the city and some of its local attractions, including several photos.
Cleveland Shopping Center: Middlesbrough A nice guide to shopping Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough Art Gallery An online exhibit.
Media Cafe: Middlesbrough
University of Teeside
Knowhere Guide to Middlesbrough A collection of comments about the town, provided by actual travellers.
After a Hard Day's Work A students' guide to a fun night in 'Boro.
Museums and Galleries: Middlesbrough Listing of the important places to visit while you're there.

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