Government’s £94K grant boosts early rail heritage

EARLY railways are to take a new centre stage at Tyneside’s Stephenson Railway Museum thanks to a £94,500 Government grant.

The windfall from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund will help finance the North Shields museum’s Pioneers from the Dawn of Railways project.

The funding will see the Stephenson locomotive Killingworth Billy and an enlarged display of a section of late 18th century wooden waggonway rails promoted as the museum’s stand-out display.

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Killingworth Billy, seen on display inside the North Tyneside Museum, will be given a new starring role in the ‘cradle of the railways’ thanks to a £94,500 Government grant. ROBBY GEORGE/CREATIVE COMMONS

As highlighted in issue 180, archaeologists searching for Roman remains stumbled over a preserved example of a 1780s wooden waggonway, which might be the oldest standard gauge railway to be discovered, during their excavation at the site of the former Neptune shipyard in Walker, Wallsend, on the banks of the River Tyne, before Shepherd Offshore was due to begin development work. They unearthed 30 yards of waggonway that was part of a network that linked the ports of the North East with collieries.

Read more in Issue 251 of HR – on sale now!

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Sam Hewitt