OLD Amos - the fellow the once bushy sideburns who until last week occupied the office next to mine - had several oft-used, favourite words. One of them was "serendipity", and in his absence, now that he has retired, I shall use it.

Because this morning I was in Darlington Centre for Local Studies thinking about filling next week's Echo Memories supplement. I'm going to be doing Baydale Beck Inn - you might have seen an advert in the paper recently telling that the pub is celebrating its 100th anniversary. This is correct: I was flicking through the papers of September 1910 looking for a report of a licensing session in which magistrates told the landlord of the original, early 18th Century pub that they'd give him a licence as long as he demolished his hovel and rebuilt it away from the road. This he did - hence the 100th anniversary.

Serendipitiously as I was looking for the snippet about the Baydale Beck Inn, I spotted a photograph in The Northern Echo of September 8, 1910, showing the Transporter Bridge under construction.

There doesn't seem to be any article with the photo, just the caption: "The above illustration shows the progress being made at one end of the transporter bridge being erected over the Tees at Middlesbro'."

It is serendipitious, of course, because this morning's Echo Memories was a 12-page special on the 100th anniversary of the Transporter Bridge, which opened on October 17, 1911.

In researching the supplement, I didn't come across this photo anywhere else. It sadly doesn't have any men at work, but you can see the cranes in action, and a broad ladder up the left hand side.

I wonder which bank of the Tees it shows - it feels like Middlesbrough?

Now, though, I should get back to next week's articles. In the meantime, have a look at the front page of the website today where there's archive footage of the opening of the Transporter. Have a good look around the 16 second mark where, on the opening journey, an old gadgee steps backwards into the Tees...

serendipity: the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.