PETER Galloway grew up "over the border" in the shadow of the Transporter Bridge.

"Even though I've now lived in Darlington longer than I did in Middlesbrough, it is still the landmark of my old hometown," he says, having looked out these splendid pictures from the early 1960s.

"It was a thriving community in those days: it had its own market, a fishmarket and there were children's roundabouts as well as the stalls. It was a down in its own right."

Now 69, he was born in Richmond Street where his mum ran an off-licence, and they then moved to above Horseman's butchers in Sussex Street.

"It's all gone, swept away now - I think there's a new police station where we used to live," he says.

His family moved out to smart new homes at Thorntree Town Farm in 1947, but still the Transporter played a part in his life. These pictures were taken when he was home on leave from the RAF.

"I've even sailed underneath it in one of my little dinghies from Stockton," he says. "I could sail up as far as Worsall before you got grounded and as far as the Transporter the other way."

Peter remembers the days when workmen carried their bikes over the top of the bridge rather than ride in the gondola. Name-dropper that I am, I was talking to BBC Radio Tees' Ali Brownlee about this the other day as he has been filmed carrying a bike over the bridge for Monday night's Inside Out. His grandfather used to carry his bike both ways because a gondola ride was 3d but a walk over the top was 1d - in the days when every penny counted, this amounted to a considerable saving over the course of a lifetime of labour.

Peter, though, remembers that in the early 1960s it cost 2d to walk over the top and many workmen did it because they were on early shift and the bridge hadn't started working. Or they did it when the bridge was closed due to high winds - it must have been extremely blowy with a bike at the top.

"Even today I get an email alert saying the bridge has been closed due to winds," says Peter, even though he lives in Cockerton.

Happy 100th birthday this weekend, Transporter.