Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn

The new edition of Railway Bylines has a lot to interest the Novocastrian: the North Sunderland Railway and a big feature on industrial locomotive building in Newcastle. I am a sort of passive railway enthusiast. One of my earliest memories is being taken by my mother to the Forth Bank works of Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn (she worked there before she was married). I can remember seeing small tank engines being build, I was told, for export to South Africa. The North Sunderland Railway closed before I was born, but we once had a short family holiday in Seahouses (unfortunately not by train to Chathill), and I walked the trackbed from there to North Sunderland where the platform remained.

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