You are currently viewing archive for January 2011
Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Monday 17th July 2011, 18:30 on BBC Two

MICHAEL PORTILLO'S Series continues.


Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. He travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains, as his journey follows some of the earliest railways in the country from Newcastle to Melton Mowbray.

In this episode, Michael visits the first locomotive factory in the world opened by George Stephenson, searches for the lost pit village of Marsden in South Shields, and is entertained by a comic troupe of rapper sword dancers in Chester-le-Street.

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Richard Gibbon talks about his latest book.

Date:  02 Mar 2011
Time: 19:00, 30 minutes
Price: FREE
Audience: Adults

Join engineer Richard Gibbon for a talk about his latest book about Stephenson's masterpiece, Rocket.

Admission is free although numbers are limited. To book, please call 01904 685 724.

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Engineers have started major strengthening work on the Britannia Bridge which spans the Menai Strait. The £4m project which commenced on Monday 10 January is a joint effort by Network Rail, the Welsh Assembly Government and the UK Highway Agency and is contracted to Birse Rail Ltd.


Britannia Bridge spanning the Menai Strait


Work on the 160 year old bridge which now carries road and rail traffic between Anglesey and Mainland Wales includes repairs to brickwork and masonry, drainage, inspection and replacement of eroded steelwork and removal of invasive plants. The steel portals on the approaches to the bridge will also be repainted.

Posted By Robert. Stephenson


Curated by leading architectural historian, Gavin Stamp, Saving a Century illustrates some of The Victorian Society's most remarkable campaigns, among them the battles for St Pancras, Liverpool's Albert Dock, the Foreign Office and the much-regretted Euston Arch.

Using archive photographs and material from throughout the Victorian Society's fifty years of fighting for historic buildings, the exhibition in the Newcastle City Library charts the successes and defeats of the organisation that has done so much to change public attitudes towards the best of nineteenth century architecture.

'Saving a Century tells the extraordinary story of the battles that have shaped our towns and cities,' said Dr Ian Dungavell, Director of the Victorian Society. 'Without these campaigns, many of our most famous places would look very different today. The exhibition is a testament to the energy and vision of the early members of the Victorian Society as well as a sobering reminder of the way that public opinion and tastes change.'

Saving a Century opens on Monday 13th December at The Bewick Hall at Newcastle City Library, New Bridge Street West, Newcastle until 10th January 2011.

Admission is free.


Posted By Robert. Stephenson


Published in 1889twins

" Now for a remarkable little anecdote about the only picture he finished straight away, instead of, as was his wont, working on a number at the same time. Robert Stephenson was offered 500gs for a piece of plate by the London and North-western Railway Company for services rendered. However, I got Landseer to paint a picture for the money with the inducement of another 500gs from me, and I well remember his remark when I struck the bargain :-

“ Just about this time his signatures to the plates varied very much, and to-day some of them make a difference of from 10gs to 15gs in the price of an engraving.

"'Well, this is the first time I have heard that canvas is more precious than silver.’

“He painted ‘The Twins’ in two months. There it is you see -a sheep in the meadow, with a couple of young ones by its side, and I was about to return the picture to Mr Stephenson when I received a letter from America saying that Landseer’s work had never been seen there, and if we would lend it for exhibition in New York for a month they would take 500gs worth of proofs and insure it for £1000.

“ My American correspondent came over to look to the safety of the picture. We were dining together in the next room with some friends, and about 8 o’c1ock he said: “I must be off for Liverpool; the boat goes at 12 o’clock to-morrow”



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