The Robert Stephenson Trust promotes the greatest engineer of the nineteenth century with the aim of making today's generation aware of his work and humanity to insire a new generation of engineers through his achievements.

These pages give news of the Stephensons, their associates, works and activities.
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A short biography of Robert Stephenson can be seen here

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

About The Friends

1.   Who are the Friends

The Friends are a group of people who care deeply about the railway heritage of the area and want to see the 1825 Stockton and Darlington Railway line receive the recognition and the protection it deserves as the world’s first steam powered passenger railway and from which all passenger railways across the world developed.

2.   The Friends Vision

To work with statutory, non-statutory and voluntary bodies to identify, preserve, promote and develop the 1825 Stockton & Darlington Railway line as an educational, cultural and historic site of International significance and to develop its recreational, economic and tourism potential.

3.   Aims and Objectives of the Friends

  • To promote the educational, cultural and historic importance and international significance of the route of the 1825 Stockton and Darlington Railway.
  • To develop its recreational, economic and tourism potential and to encourage its enjoyment by all.
  • To recognise and raise the world wide profile and the importance of the 1825 Stockton & Darlington Railway line.
  • To foster pride in belonging to an area which has played a significant and important part in world history.
  • To maximise the tourist potential of the 1825 Stockton & Darlington Railway line thereby bringing tourists to the area and making the area a tourist destination.
  • To contribute to the economic regeneration of the area through the creation of jobs, generate income for businesses and encourage the relocation of businesses to the area on the back of its history.
  • To protect the route of the 1825 Stockton and Darlington Railway from development which does not respect the uniqueness of the line and seeks to sever and destroy any part of the route.
  • To promote the contribution which the route of the 1825 Stockton and Darlington Railway can make to good health, conservation and the environment.
  • To pursue National Heritage Listing for England and World Heritage Status for the 1825 Stockton & Darlington Railway line.

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

A Merry Christmas

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Canada has found one of the two sunken British ships from Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition that disappeared in the Arctic, parts of the deck and mainmast intact.

The wreck was discovered about 11 meters (36 feet) below the surface in Queen Maud Gulf, off the Nunavut mainland, about 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) north of Toronto, said John Geiger, chief executive officer of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, which participated in the search. “This is one of the two most important undiscovered shipwrecks in the world,” Geiger said today in a statement. “It’s a wonderful and exciting discovery that promises to shed more light on the ill-fated expedition’s final months, weeks, and days.” It’s not clear yet whether the vessel is Her Majesty’s Ship Erebus or the HMS Terror, said Prime Minister Stephen Harper who announced the discovery at a media conference in Ottawa today.

The discovery’s authenticity was confirmed on Sept. 7 using a remotely operated underwater vehicle, Harper said in a statement. Finding the ships has been part of a drive by Harper’s Conservative government to assert sovereignty over Canada’s north at a time when territorial claims in the Arctic are being challenged internationally. Parks Canada, a federal agency, has led six searches for the lost ships since 2008.

 “This is truly a historic moment for Canada,” Harper said in his statement. “Franklin’s ships are an important part of Canadian history given that his expeditions, which took place nearly 200 years ago, laid the foundations of Canada’s Arctic sovereignty.” Divers are exploring the wreck, which was found about a couple hundred kilometers south of the initial search area, to identify it before weather conditions worsen, Geiger said in a telephone interview. Future efforts will continue the search for the other Franklin vessel, he said. “We only have one of the two expedition ships, so there will be ongoing efforts to locate the other vessel and complete the story,” he said. Parks Canada’s Ryan Harris, who led the search, revealed today in Ottawa a sonar image of the find that showed deck structures and the mainmast, which was sheared off by the ice when the ship sank.

The contents of the ship are likely well preserved, Harris said, according to a press pool report. ‘Historic Moment’ The Erebus and Terror left England in May 1845 under command of Franklin on an Arctic expedition to search for a Northwest Passage to Asia.

The expedition’s two ships set out with 134 officers and men. The ships became trapped in ice in late 1846 and remained so for about one and a half years, according to a message found in a cairn on King William Island in 1859. The message said Franklin died on June 11, 1847 and an additional 23 crew members had also perished. On April 1848, the 105 remaining survivors deserted the ships. The entire complement of both ships perished and the ships were lost to the ice, according to a briefing on a government website.

The missing ships and fate of Franklin and his crew sparked searches by British and American expeditions starting in 1848, with more recent efforts by Canadian researchers. Canadian archaeologists in July 2010 found the wreck of the HMS Investigator, which was abandoned in 1853 after becoming trapped in ice while searching for Franklin.

Posted By Robert. Stephenson
by  Janet Plater
Directed by Robert Webb
Starring  CHRIS CONNEL as ‘George Stephenson’
15th – 19th July in KILLINGWORTH
  The extraordinary story of an ordinary man from Tyneside who changed the world.
A community play celebrating the bicentenary of George Stephenson’s first locomotive ‘Blücher’ in Killingworth. Debuting children from George Stephenson School and volunteers from the local community, this world-premiere play stars CHRIS CONNEL (‘The Pitmen Painters’, Broadway, Live Theatre, National Theatre, ‘George Gently’, ‘Goal’ and ‘Emmerdale’). Also featuring CATHERINE DRYDEN (‘The Pitmen Painters’), ZOE HAKIN and the BACKWORTH COLLIERY BRASS BAND.



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