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Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Royal Border Bridge, by Terence Cuneo

A railway poster of one of England’s most iconic bridges fetched £1000 at a Christie’s auction recently.

The poster of Berwick-upon-Tweed’s Royal Border Bridge is by Terence Cuneo, one of England’s most famous painters and illustrators.

He was the official illustrator at Elizabeth II’s coronation and made a name for himself as an painter of bridges, wildlife, portraits, landscapes, and military scenes.

The poster was expected to sell for £900 but went for £1000.  According to Christie’s, the lithograph was produced in 1946. It was one of the first posters used by newly-formed British Railways in 1948.

Cuneo became known for a style that captured both detail and the general milieu of everyday life. This led to his work having wide appeal and his posters became hugely popular. Reproductions are still sold today and also appear on cards and tiles.

Cuneo also painted the Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash, and the Forth Bridge. Some of his work has sold for close to £6000.

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

The presentation is illustrated with the use of historic documents, paintings, video and sound and focuses on the relationship between Robert Stephenson and Isambard Kingdom Brunel.  Short biographies compare the main characteristics of the men and the presentation goes on to discuss their involvement in the east coast railway schemes which eventually become the East Coast Main Line.  The talk is then broadened out to include Robert Stephenson’s relationships with other Victorians and the schemes which he was involved with in later life.


The Speaker is Michael Taylor who is a Trustee, Exhibitions Curator, Newsletter Editor and Webmaster of the Robert Stephenson Trust.  He is a Chartered Civil Engineer, Past Chairman of the North Eastern branch and Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and is North East Representative for the Panel for Historical Engineering Works.


6.15 pm 7th December 2011

Newcastle University
Room 2.32 Cassie Building
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom


For further information contact: Graham Yates


Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Edge Hill Station is the oldest passenger railway station in the World. Some say when Stephenson's Rocket left Edge Hill for Manchester on the 15th September 1830 it marked the beginning of the modern world.

The Edge Hill Archive attempts to tell the story of a place that has global significance but where ordinary people also live their lives.  Contained within the ten different categories are many stories, anecdotes, objects, artefacts, documents and photographs that together create a ‘living’ archive of Edge Hill’s people and place, both historic and current. 

When Metal decided to renovate the station buildings at Edge Hill Station in Liverpool - the world’s oldest passenger railway station, still in use - we were keen to ensure that the pioneering spirit and history of innovation found in the story of the buildings remained an active part in the legacy we were aspiring to create.  Our continuing creative programme regularly invites artists and local community members to make theatre, music and visual arts that reflect the history of the buildings and the surrounding area, a history that resonates in the architecture and atmosphere of the place. 

Edge Hill is situated at the heart of Liverpool, between Kensington, Wavertree, Toxteth and the city centre. The area has had a significant role to play in the city’s development, as well as in world history as a centre of transport and industry.  The station was a key part of the business venture that was to see the first railway built specifically for passengers rather than cargo, namely the Liverpool to Manchester Railway.  When the line opened in 1830 George Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’ left Crown Street Station and passed through Edge Hill carrying the Prime Minister of the day, the Duke of Wellington, on board.  For the first time passengers could travel at speed between two major cities and return on the same day.  It was a day when the world became a smaller place, the first global news story broke, and the rise of an industry began that would change the world.

The story of Edge Hill Station, the building, is one of many stories that grow out of the wider area and its changing fortunes across the years.  Our project has captured some of these stories here and our project includes a display inside the buildings at Edge Hill Station itself.  With the help of a Heritage Lottery Grant, and the many people who have submitted stories and objects to the archive, we have been able to create this archive and we hope that you find something interesting within it.

Please get in touch if you have a story or memory to add to the archive:

Metal at Edge Hill Station, Tunnel Road, Liverpool, L7 6ND

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

This photograph, taken from The Rainhill Story, depicts Puffing Billy, the oldest surviving steam locomotive in the world. It was built in 1813-14 for Christopher Blackett, the owner of the Wylam Colliery, by William Hedley, Jonathan Forster and Timothy Hackworth (who would later build the Sans Pareil). Puffing Billy was the world’s first commercial adhesion steam locomotive (that is, where power is achieved by driving the wheels to create friction between the wheels and the rails), and was used to pull coal trucks from the Colliery to the docks at Lemington-on-Tyne, Northumberland. Puffing Billy was one of a number of locomotives built by Hedley for this purpose to replace horses, and one of two prototypes for this design, along with Wylam Dilly. Puffing Billy displayed a number of innovations that would be followed by subsequent locomotives: it had two vertical cylinders outside the boiler, the piston rods were extended upwards to pivoting beams, which were connected by rods to a crankshaft beneath the frames, from which gears drove and coupled the wheels, improving traction. But at eight tons, it was too heavy for cast-iron rails, frequently breaking them. However, this problem was addressed when the locomotive was redesigned with four axles, thus spreading the weight more evenly. Puffing Billy was rebuilt with four wheels (rather than the original eight) after edge rails tracks were introduced around 1830. It could go no faster than five miles per hour. Despite these limitations, it influenced a local engineer named George Stephenson, and its success led to other collieries in the North East using steam locomotives. The Wylam Colliery locomotives were commissioned because horses had become expensive to purchase due to the Napoleonic Wars, and remained in use until June 1862. In the same year, the Colliery loaned and in 1864 sold Puffing Billy to the Patent Office Museum, now the Science Museum, where it remains to this day: Wylam Dilly is displayed in the Royal Museum in Edinburgh. In 2006, a replica of Puffing Billy was steamed for the first time at the Beamish Museum in County Durham

Puffing Billy

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Here are two mugs, taken from an illustration in Rocket 150 - Official Handbook. The mug on the left is entitled “Entrance to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway”, and shows the Moorish Arch and the Wapping Cutting, with two locomotives, one of which resembles the Novelty. In the mug on the right, a Novelty-like engine pulls a carriage resembling a stage coach

Liverpool and Manchester Railway mugs



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