Heritage Tour of Stephenson Works
– Michael Taylor, The Robert Stephenson Trust
FREE, Saturday 26th October 2013
– Meet at Sussex Street entrance to Stephenson Works at 12pm
In 1823 George Stephenson along with four other people - his son Robert, the. Quaker businessman Edward
Pease, Pease’s cousin Thomas Richardson and Michael Longridge who managed Bedlington Iron Works -
opened the world’s first purpose built locomotive factory at South Street on Forth Banks, Newcastle upon
Tyne. Locomotives built at these works were exported to developing railways all over the world and were often
the first locomotives to be seen and used in those countries. At Robert’s death in 1859 the firm was the largest
employer onTyneside and by the early 1890s the works had expanded to occupy all available land on Forth
Banks. The old works finally closed in 1904 and the site was takenover by automotive manufacturers George
and Jobling who remained active in the building until the early 1970s, producing bicycles, automobiles and
airplanes. After a period of dereliction the site was restored in the last years of the 20th century.
Following this restoration, when the Robert Stephenson Trust used the building as its office, volunteers
(including Michael Taylor) presented public tours illustrating the building’s history.
Michael Taylor is a Trustee, Exhibitions Curator, Newsletter Editor and Webmaster of the RobertStephenson
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, Chairman North East Heritage Panel, and Chairman ICE NE Senior’s Group.
Michael was chairman of the Millennium Ponteland Pele Tower Restoration Group, Vice Chairman, Magazine
Editor and webmaster of Ponteland Local History Society. A lifelong member of the Scout Association he was
awarded a MBE for services to young people in 2006.
This event is made possible by the kind support of the Robert Stephenson Trust.