Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday 15 September - Shildon

Keep looking up.  Decoration on the Starbucks coffee shop in the Lendal
Today's forecast was for rain and, even though it is Mary's birthday, we agreed that I would go to the National Railway Musem at Shildon leaving her free to go shopping etc., at York.
I caught a train to Darlington where I changed to a two car pacer to Shildon. After Darlington we were on the route of the first public railway with steam haulage, the Stockton and Darlington of 1825. In spite of the long industrial heritage of the area we were soon in fields of sheep with coveys of partridges.
The museum is a little walk from the station with the collection building at one end of a short running line and some historic buildings at the other.
The collection building is purpose built and pleasant to walk through. However, it suffers from the problem of several long lines of locomotives and it is difficult to get back far enough to see them properly. Just after I walked in there was a public announcement to evacuate the building. None of the staff took any notice and it seems it was merely a test of the system  
This GWR pannier tank was in the workshop area.   I remember standing on the flat top of one of these taking water at Reading Low Level, holding down the chain to take water and getting completely soaked in the process
A fireless locomotive.
A Stockton and Darlington Railway passenger coach, patterned after a stagecoach.
Several historic locomotives were on display, the most interesting to me being the GWR 2-8-0 and a GWR 0-6-0 pannier tank, both of which types I have worked on. The exhibits are not all identified, many locomotives being identified merely by a large luggage label. I personally would not have included a few coal wagons or BR  rolling stock but that is a matter of preference.
The really interesting part of the display was at the other end of the line which has coal staithes, stables used by the horses on the original railway, an early goods shed, the first industrial building in Shildon, Timothy Hackworth's house and the Sans Pareil, Hackworth's entry for the Liverpool and Manchester Rainhill locomotive trials.
The Goods Shed
The Sans Pareil.
Early chauldron waggons
First industrial building in Shildon
Timothy Hackworth's house.
It is a peaceful area now. Waiting for the train to Darlington I could hear a parliament of rooks, a murder of crows, a magpie and some robins.
The rain was light at times
The tranquility of Shildon was shattered by the crashing and banging of a Pacer, the train everyone loves to hate, as it crashed and banged its way over the poor track to and from Darlington.
Click here to see my pictures from Shildon

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