Middlesbrough is a town in North-East
England, with a resident population in 2001 of 134,855.
It is historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, but in
1974 became part of the new administrative county of Cleveland.
In 1996 Cleveland was abolished, and Middlesbrough became a
unitary authority, though it is still part of North Yorkshire
for ceremonial purposes.
Unlike most English districts, its council is led by a directly-elected
mayor, currently Ray Mallon. Mr Mallon was previously an officer
in Cleveland Constabulary, and was noted for a zero-tolerance
approach to crime.
Situated on the south bank of the River Tees, it became a town
in 1830 as a result of industrial expansion connected with iron
production and the growth of railways, including the development
of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The Pease family of
Cleveland, landowners with major iron interests, are seen as
largely responsible for the explosion of Middlesbrough from
little more than a hamlet into a fully-fledged town. It is still
an industrial town, with chemicals, fertilizers, iron and steel
as its main industries. The Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia
was constructed by a Middlesbrough firm.
Middlesbrough has a large and comprehensive shopping district
made up of several separate shopping centres, which include 'Cleveland
Shopping Centre', 'Dundas Arcade' and 'Hill Street Shopping
Centre'. The town's centre has been undergoing a makeover in
recent years, with the addition of 'Spectra-txt', a 10 metre
high interactive tower of metal and fibre-optics inspired by
Blade Runner. 'Spectra-txt' allows the public to send an SMS (text)
message to change the colours of the lights. Texting various
codes, such as 'Chromapop' produce a display of changing colour
The Premiership football team, Middlesbrough F.C., owned by
local entrepreneur and Bulkhaul boss Steve Gibson (of
Middlesbrough), is based on the outskirts of Middlesbrough at
the Riverside Stadium. The Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge is a
famous piece of engineering, one of only three in Britain and
the largest operational bridge of this kind in the world.
Captain James Cook was born in Marton, Middlesbrough, which is
now close to Middlesbrough. Famous people from the town include
comedian Bob Mortimer, film directors Ridley Scott and Tony
Scott, musician Chris Rea, magician Paul Daniels, rugby player
Rory Underwood, footballers Don Revie and Brian Clough, comedian
Roy Chubby Brown, and actress Wendy Richards.