“The Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway have organised a survey/walk/social event in Stockton on Wednesday 12 June starting at 6pm from the Town Hall to try and drum up some steam or rather support for the bi-centenary of the S&DR in 2025. The walk is being organised by Friends who live in the Stockton area as this end of the line is often overshadowed by Darlington but there is still much to see which connects Stockton to the worlds first fare paying passenger railway, regardless of what other towns may claim ! We’ll depart the station known as the Town Hall at 6pm and end not too late in The Hope & Union in Silver Street.
Our guide for the walk is Stockton’s very own Time Traveller, Martin Pegam who is known for his Magical Mystery History Tours and perhaps more so for his Dr Who like scarf. Dr Who?
The walk is being supported by Steve Thompson who runs the Stockton Digital Village from his studio in the Green Dragon Yard and material gathered during the walk will be used to produce a multi-media presentation some of which may air on Radio Stockton . What, you’ve never heard of Radio Stockton? Then see or rather hear here; http://www.radiostockton.co.uk/.
Two more Friends walks are also planned for Wednesday 26 June, walking from Allens West railway station to survey the Yarm Branch followed by a social in The Cleveland Bay and secondly on Wednesday 3 July to explore the S&DR track-bed which runs through Preston Park, and not many people know that! The walks are free so please come along and support them and hopefully learn more about this historical railway line much of which still remains, if you know where to look!”
Thanks to all those who came along on the night and braved the rain, your support is much appreciated and hopefully you enjoyed and learnt something new from it too? Hopefully!
The second walk takes place this Wednesday, 26 June meeting at Allens West Junction at 6pm and walking down to the Cleveland Bay past remains of the S&DR which still stand on Durham Lane.
The final walk will be on Wednesday 3 July along the original 1825 track-bed which runs through the wood at the front of Preston Park and is easily seen, when you know where to look! There will be an after walk social event at The Locomotion in Station Road, formerly The Sportsman and before that The Station Hotel.
SUGGESTION. May I make a suggestion that: On a suitable spot somewhere in Stockton High Street, an attractive small flower bed is made, in the centre of which would be erected a Bronze Statue of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and discreetly placed on each side of it, two low plaques placed in the ground on pedestals; One plaque dedicated to the birth of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the second plaque dedicated to John Walker, the Stockton inventor of the friction match. Bob Wilson.
Good luck to all involved, but I hope Stockton doesn’t end up the poor relation to the Darlington celebrations. Last year I emailed the Stockton MP to ask if there was any initiatives regarding 200 year celebrations. He never bothered to reply. With this sort of lethargy, things could be bad.
I don’t live in the area so cannot make the walks, but I was reminded that my late father Trevor attended the centenary celebrations in September 1925 with his dad, my grandad, Everett Jones. According to his family history, “all the family went by way of the field path (from their home in Raby Road) to Hartburn village and from there over the Potato Hall fields to the present railway line from Darlington to Stockton and Thornaby where the celebrations were taking place”. I shall pencil 2025 in my diary although I doubt whether I shall be able to follow the same route as my dad to get there! I hope the walks go well.
When I emigrated to Canada in 1975, I started out on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, at the Glace Bay Heavy Water Plant. One Friday evening we were listening to the radio when the compare asked if anyone had any interesting facts that he could tell so, I called in and mentioned that it was the anniversary of the Stockton to Darlington passenger railway, the very first in the world. He didn’t know that and, I’m sure most of his listeners didn’t either. He said he’d never had a more interesting story to tell.