This book from Northern Voices Community Projects, commissioned by North Tyneside Council, has been published to mark the bicentenary of George Stephenson's steam engine Blucher and tells the story of its creator in Killingworth and North Tyneside and of steam railways in the area.
Blucher was built by George Stephenson in Killingworth, North Tyneside in 1814 in the colliery workshop behind Stephenson's house, Dial Cottage. The engine was named after the Prussian general Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher who fought in the battle of Waterloo, helping to defeat Napoleon. It pulled coal trucks along the waggonway from Killingworth to the coal staithes at Wallsend. Blucher made Stephenson's reputation and over the next five years he built 16 more locomotives (many of which were built by recycling Blucher's parts) at Killingworth, some for the Colliery and some for the Duke of Portland's waggonway between Kilmarnock and Troon, which improved on the earlier engine, leading to him being commissioned to build the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, establishing him as an engine designer and laying the foundations for his major role in the development of railways. The book also celebrates the renovation of the sculpture 'The Killingworth Engine' by Charles Sansbury which has been restored and repositioned as part of the bicentenary.
With historical documents and images, alongside poems, songs, stories, photographs and drawings by local people, the book is intended to ensure that the story of steam in North Tyneside is not forgotten.
Product Code: BKNTS
Authors: Dr Keith Armstrong, Peter Dixon