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Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Artist Jon Hall was commissioned to produce a number of paintings of civil engineering works in the North East of England the Robert Stephenson Awards which give recognition to outstanding examples of design and construction undertaken by members within ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) North East.

 

One of the finest in the series is a painting of The Royal Border Bridge which carries the East Coast main railway line over the River Tweed on 28 arches. Designed by Robert Stephenson and opened by Queen Victoria in 1850.

 

RBB

 
Posted By Robert. Stephenson

The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers

6.00pm
Thursday
...16th December 2010

“Robert Stephenson in Germany, Railway Engineering, Hessen 1843” - Angus Fowler

Note:
General Meetings – Meet in Nicholas Wood Memorial Library, Newcastle at 5.30pm for tea/coffee and biscuits. The paper commences at 6.00pm prompt in the Lecture Theatre. Papers should be approximately 40 minutes in duration with 15 minutes for questions. At 7.00pm a buffet is provided in the Nicholas Wood Memorial Library except when a Council Dinner is arranged. Members usually make a donation for this.
Lectures are free and open to the public. No booking is required. Wheelchair access and level access can be arranged, please call 0191 2322201.

http://www.mininginstitute.org.uk/events/index.html

 
Posted By Robert. Stephenson

A couple of weeks ago one of our star posters went out on loan to the Yale Centre for British Art at Yale University in America.

The poster by Edward McKnight Kauffer was made for the Great Western Railway in 1933 and was one of a series used to advertise Devon and Cornwall. Kauffer was an American artist who began working in the UK in 1915, where he stayed for the next 25 years. He became one of our foremost designers in a time when graphic design as we know it today was really only in its infancy.

Edward McKnight Kauffer, Great Western to Devon's Moors, 1933

Kauffer was greatly influenced by the European avant-garde, having seen the Armory Show in America in 1913 and later studying at the Académie Moderne in Paris. His early work shows the influence of Van Gogh and Toulouse-Latrec, while this poster has a touch of Magritte about it with its slightly surreal abstracted landscape. At the time Kauffer and other designers like him were applauded for introducing modernism to the public through well designed posters displayed in public places.

Prior to this, in 1923, Kauffer had been commissioned by the London Underground to produce a series of posters advertising the city’s key museums. Among them was the Science Museum, and the poster showed an image of Stephenson and his Rocket. Today Rocket can still be seen at the Science Museum, while if you’re lucky you can catch a ride on replica Rocket at the National Railway Museum.

 

Edward McKnight Kauffer, The Museum of Science, London
Underground

Edward McKnight Kauffer, The Museum of Science, London Underground, 1923

 
Posted By Robert. Stephenson
This is a keystone from a decorative arch in the old South Stockton Railway station (now Thornaby station) and it has never before been on display at the NRM. It depicts a face on one side and grapes on the other. Imagine having this guy glaring down at you as you entered the station.

The South Stockton station was on the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the world’s first public passenger railway line, opened 27th September 1825. The chief engineer was George Stephenson (1781-1848), whose works also built the first locomotive to run on the line; this was designed by Timothy Hackworth and named Locomotion No. 1.

The print below, from a drawing by John Dobbin, depicts a large crowd turning out to watch the opening and shows the excitement generated by this historic event. The first train travelled eight miles from New Shildon to Darlington taking about two hours (this included three unexpected stops, two of which were due to a derailed wagon), it did however reach a speed of 15mph at one point.

There were six wagons ‘with seats reserved for strangers’ in which members of the public were able to travel, with 34 wagons in total. It can’t have been a comfortable journey, travelling in converted coal wagons, but an exciting trip nonetheless.

 
Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Originally called the Commercial Railway, the London and Blackwall Railway was a railway line line in east London  It ran from the Minories to Blackwall via Stepney, with a branch line to the Isle of Dogs thus connecting central London to many of london's in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was operational from 1840 until 1926 (for passengers) and 1968 (for goods services) - ultimately closing after the decline of inner London's docks. Much of its former infrastructure was later reused as part of the Docklands light Railway.

 

 

Original bridge at Limehouse on the London and Blackwall Railway. It now carries a branch of the DLR. The iron fencing was a feature of the line and was popular with passengers as it gave a quieter ride than the brick walling of the nearby  London and Greenwich Railway

 

It was authorised by an Act of Parliament entitled "An Act for making a Railway from the Minories to Blackwall, with Branches, to be called "The Commercial Railway" dated 28 July 1836 in the reign of William IV.


The engineer of the line was intended to be John Rennie, but the project’s City financiers favoured Robert stephenson, believing that they would also benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of his respected father. Although, because of the Act, Robert Stephenson had to follow Rennie’s route, and use the obscure track gauge of 5 ft ½ in (1,537 mm), he was free to choose his own method of propulsion. Drawing on his experience with the Camden line on the london and birmingham Railway he decided upon cable haulage from stationary steam engines.

 


 
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