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Posted By Robert. Stephenson

The Great Victorian Way was an unbuilt infrastructure project presented to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Metropolitan Communications by Joseph Paxton. in June 1855. It would have consisted of a ten mile covered loop around much of central and west London, integrating road and rail routes with commercial and domestic premises. Three river crossings — two on the main loop and one on a branch — would have continued the arcade, creating inhabited bridges. The proposal was sympathetically received by the committee, but ultimately rejected on grounds of cost It prefigured the less ambitious Circle Line.

Paxton pointed out that it took longer to travel between the mainline termini at Paddington and London Bridge than it did to travel between London Bridge and Brighton, His solution to this, and the problems of travelling between the City and the West End was to build a " boulevard or railway girdle" linking the termini, which were mostly built outside the central area of London.

A branch from the South Western Railway’s Waterloo station on the south side of the Thames would cross the river to a terminus near Regent Circus. The “girdle” would be about ten miles long, and the branch one mile. There was no need to go further east as, Paxton told the select committee, “towards Whitechapel there are people who do not go about so much.”

The structure was modelled on Paxton‘s own Crystal Palace. A glass-roofed arcade 72 feet wide and 108 feet high would cover a central roadway. From the City to Regent‘s Street it would have been lined with shops, with private residences in Brompton and other areas of west London. Behind the shops and residences, there would be two levels of narrow gauge atmospheric railway tracks on each side, one for fast trains and one for slow trains. Atmospheric railways had failed in the past, but Robert Stephenson, usually sceptical about the system, had assured Paxton that they would be practical in these more controlled conditions. A double wall would insulate the residences from the noise of the trains. Existing streets would cross the roadway on the level, with the railways running uninterrupted above.” People, I find”, Paxton said “will never go much above the ground, and they will never go under ground”. It would be dry, well-ventilated and easy to maintain -- being under cover the road would never become muddy. The same basic cross-section would have been used for the river crossings as for the parts across land creating inhabited bridges — Victorian equivalents of Old London Bridge.

The walls of the arcade would be faced in ceramic tiles. Its glass roof would to keep out the polluted atmosphere of London, and promote a healthy circulation of air. In the section across Kensington Gardens there would be no shops or houses, and the arcade would provide a place to exercise in bad weather.

The road would have been open to all kinds of vehicles until nine in the morning, to allow for delivery of coal and merchandise, but only to omnibuses and passenger carriages after that time, At night the railway would carry goods between the various mainline railway termini. They would, however, have no direct link to any existing track.

Paxton estimated the total cost at 34 million pounds. Income would have been generated from the rental from the shops and houses, and from the railway, with no tolls being charged for pedestrians or vehicle passengers. He estimated that the railway would carry about 105,000 passengers each day


Posted By Robert. Stephenson
Posted By Robert. Stephenson

THEY came in their hundreds carrying family heirlooms, lost antiques found during a behind of a attic, pieces of seat and paintings so vast they indispensable dual people to lift them.

Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce articulate to prolongation staff during a filming of a renouned BBC uncover during Layer Marney Tower, Colchester.

Many of a people who arrived during a Antiques Roadshow in Layer Marney Tower yesterday had come for a day out, though many were anticipating that one of a show’s experts would exhibit that their antique was value a tiny fortune.

Mary, from a encampment nearby Colchester, did not wish to give her full name or residence since she had usually been told her time was value a smallest of £15,000 by consultant Richard Price.

“I was totally repelled by that cost since we had been told by other people that clocks were not that valuable,” she said.

“It had been left to me by my aunt who died in 1947 and we unequivocally didn’t know anything about a history. we knew it was a proof clock, though we hadn’t realised it had been done for a Great Exhibition in 1881.”

Judy and Jeremy Dixon from Saffron Walden had brought in a collection of letters and tickets connected to a operative George Stephenson who was famous as a father of railways.

“One of my ancestors, John Dixon, was an operative for Stephenson on a Stockton and Darlington railway and these equipment have been upheld down by my family,” pronounced Mr Dixon.

“They are not value really many money, though they are profitable to history.”

Expert Paul Atterbury pronounced that one of a equipment brought in by a integrate – a package of letters and maps with instructions not to be non-stop until 2025 – was one of a many sparkling things he had seen all day.

Mr Atterbury added: “A day like this is really tough work for all a experts since there are a lot of people here wanting to know about a equipment they have brought in and we have to give it to them.

“It’s also really sparkling since we never know what we are going to get. Quite mostly a people who move things in are revelation we about them that is fascinating.

“I’m a railway fan so we was quite gratified to see some equipment connected to a Stockton and Darlington.”

Roger Lunn of Stock, nearby Chelmsford, who brought a vast charming portrayal to a show, said: “We arrived during 9.30am and there was already a prolonged reserve to get in. we had listened that some people had got here during 3am!

“I consider many people have come here with an thought that an consultant is going to tell them what they’ve got and how many it’s worth. I’ve come since we wish to tell a consultant about a painting.

“As a square of art it’s not great, though it’s one of my favourite possessions. It’s like Marmite – we possibly adore it or hatred it.”

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Start with looking up at the Tower, and it is a gorgeous tower. Late Saxon early Norman with a simple double arched window at the top and a door – relics for the exposing of (perhaps) – a little lower down.

Last time I didn’t find this grave. It is that of Isaac Jackson. He was a clock maker who made a three-legged escapement that was used in a clock for Robert Stephenson, and the design went on to be used in Big Ben. George Stephenson was baptised here – it was the parish church for Wylam.

This memorial is to John Wormald. “Erected by the workmen of Prudhoe Colliery in memory of John Wormald aged 59 years who accidentally lost his life on the first day of June 1874, on the engine plane while following his vocation as Overman in Prudhoe Mine. A constant friend to those under his charge – a man of an affectionate kind and amiable disposition, and endeared to all who knew him.” More information on the website of Durham Mining Museum -

Thomas Bewick (the engraver) is buried just by the tower, though his memorial is in the porch.

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

The Rainhill Trials of 1829 heralded the transport revolution that Britain desperately needed. This excellent ‘Timewatch’ programme recreates the Rainhill Trials and shows the engines battling it out to become the chosen locomotive for the Liverpool to Manchester Railway.

The issues raised in the programme are followed up with the worksheets and accompanying PowerPoint presentation:

Why did Britain need a transport revolution?
The magic of steam
A new railway is built
The Rainhill Trials
Modern life begins with the railways

Available on DVD and/or MPEG format

Plus: A PowerPoint template to complete



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