September 30, 2017 no comments
Last week the town celebrated the 192nd birthday of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. As everyone knows, Local History Librarians can’t resist a good party, so we grabbed our banner, books and a selection of helpful leaflets about online reference resources and headed out to the big marquee on the High Street.
The Library Stall – Every 192nd Birthday celebration should have one
Organised by the Friends of Stockton & Darlington Railway in partnership with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, the Railway Market had a little something for everyone. Well, maybe not someone who really hates trains, but for everyone else there was a fascinating exhibition, interactive model railways on show and gifts and memorabilia for sale. Cakes, crafts and story times kept the energy up and people could head outside for a guided walk or, if that sounded a bit too energetic, a free ride on the special land train. The Stockton Flyer also put in special hourly appearances.
With hundreds making their way through the tent during the day it was wonderful to see so many people connecting with our resources, sharing memories and enjoying local history. To find out more about this momentous part of Stockton’s heritage take a look at Stockton: Where Passenger Railways Began. You can also enjoy some Tales of the Old S & D Railway. Although enjoy might not be quite the right word. If you thought leaves on the line were a problem, look what happens when you get an ass on there:
On August 9th, 1833, an accident occurred between Darlington and Stockton. An ass had strayed on to the line and the engine ran into it causing the engine to leave the rails. Thomas Hutchinson, apprentice driver, was thrown off the engine and one of the wheels passed over his leg which had to be amputated.
You can always say hello to us in the Reference Library and ask about our S&D Railway Collection, as well. You may have to speak up. That Flyer did go off every hour you know…