The North East's Industrial Heritage

| 29 April 1999

Tannfield Waggonway still steaming away today...

The 1725 Tanfield Waggonway still carries a working steam railway through scenic Causey Woods and over Causey Arch - the first railway bridge. The collection of locomotives can be seen undergoing restoration at the 1854 Marley Hill engine shed.

George Stephenson, one of the most famous names in railway history, was born near Wylam in 1781. The small stone tenement, built around 1760, accommodated 4 pitmen’s families. The room in which Stephenson was born and in which the whole family lived is open to visitors.

The Museum of North East England’s Railways at Darlington North Road Station.

The museum of North East England’s railways occupies Darlington North Road Station on the route of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. You can see the original Locomotion No. 1, designed by George Stephenson, which hauled the inaugural S & DR train in 1825 - as seen on the back of current English £5 notes.

One of the early railway pioneers, Timothy Hackworth, had his Engine Works at Shildon from 1831 to 1850. The Works now have exhibits about the history of railways, the Industrial Revolution, and life in Victorian times.

Take a look inside the real Victorian Monkwearmouth Railway Station and visit the fascinating ticket office. Watch trains pass by , “drive” a full size bus cab and let off steam in the children’s play area.

The Siemens E4 electric locomotive.

You can see the rare Siemens E4 electric locomotive, built in Germany in 1909 for the local Harton Coal Company, at the Stephenson Railway Museum. At weekends visitors can ride on the steam railway.

The Victorian tea room has railway and household memorabilia from Victorian times to the present day.

Woodhorn Colliery Museum.

Housed in the original Colliery buildings,Woodhorn Colliery Museumreflects on the coalminingheritage of Northumberland. There are special exhibitions about the Ashington Group of paintersand the Northumberland Miners Union.

Killhope Colliery Museum

Killhope is a former lead mine where visitors can go underground in the old mine workings and seethe massive underground water wheel; be washerboys where Victorian children worked separatinglead ore from waste rock; visit the mineshop to see the appalling living conditions of the men andboys who worked here.

Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum

Cleveland used to be one of the most important ironstone mining regions in the world. At theCleveland Ironstone Mining Museum you can enter a drift mine, see how the ironstone was mined, and find out about miners’ lives in Victorian and Edwardian times.

Shipping played a central role in the development of Hartlepool; go on board fishing cobles and thepaddle steamship Wingfield Castle in the dock, and discover the story of Hartlepool from prehistoryto the present day within the museum.

Hartlepool Museum

Souter was the first reliable electric lighthouse in the world, and is a perfect example of Victoriantechnology. It is a complete station with Engine Room, Fog Horns, Lighthouse and LighthouseKeepers’ Cottages.

The importance of shipping in the North East has made lifeboats very important. Redcar’s lastoffshore lifeboat, the Oakley class “Sir James Knott”, was in commission from 1972 until 1985. Sheis now on display at Kirkleatham Old Hall Museum, on loan from the RNLI.

Ryhope Pumping Station

Ryhope Pumping Station was built in 1868 to supply water to the Sunderland area. Now regardedas one of the finest industrial monuments in North East England, the beam engines are “steamed”periodically for the benefit of visitors.

Beamish, The North of England Open Air Museum

Experience working and domestic life of the early 1800’s and 1900’s atBeamish, The North of England Open Air Museum.Take a tram to The Town and Colliery Village; go underground in thedrift mine. Find out about early railways at The 1825 Railway and farming at Home Farm andPockerley Manor.


Discover Newcastle’s history in Great City!; see the first steam turbine ship Turbinia; unravelwonders of science in the Science Factory; the story of fashion in Fashion Works; A Soldier’s Lifein war and peacetime.

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