Welcome to the Industrial Heritage Network NORTH EAST (IHNNE) page!
Head of Steam/Darlington Railway Museum
Our Industrial Heartland in 2017/2018 and East Cleveland’s Industrial Heartland in 2019/2020: HLF-funded projects to catalogue, promote and conserve the heritage of ironstone, alum and jet mining sites in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland. This includes documenting their current condition with ‘Cleveland Mining Heritage Society’ and ‘Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society’ volunteers and making recommendations for priority preservation. We will also identify the impacts of mining on the environment with ‘Tees Valley Wildlife Trust’ volunteers and the ‘University of Hull’ students. The project has worked on 3D modelling of mine workings, helped create websites and use social media, to allow volunteers to better promote their groups and events.
Ryhope Engines Museum is based upon the former Ryhope Pumping Station which was commissioned in 1868 to supply water to the Sunderland area. The station ceased operation in 1967 after almost 100 years of continuous use. The Museum is a Grade II* listed building and an Ancient Scheduled Monument. Although the station no longer pumps ground water, the two 100 horsepower beam engines are kept in working order by the wholly voluntary workforce of the Ryhope Engines Trust. In addition to the beam engines, built by R & W Hawthorn, are three ‘Lancashire’ boilers of 1908, two of which are in regular use, a blacksmith’s forge, a waterwheel, numerous engines, pumps and much more.
From 1849 Tees Cottage Pumping Station revolutionised water supply in Darlington and Teesside by offering cleaner, piped water to inhabitants who had previously relied on wells and rainwater tubs. The engines at Tees Cottage pumped water from the River Tees, which was then filtered and supplied to the water company’s customers. All three methods of pumping water exist on site; steam, electric and gas. The gas engine, installed in 1914, is unique in that it is the only working gas pumping engine in the country (probably unique in Europe!)
When coal was mined at Spittal Tongues colliery the owners were not allowed to build an overland waggonway as it would have crossed the Town Moor, so engineers tunnelled 2.4 miles through boulder clay under the streets of Newcastle to create the Victoria Tunnel. Lined with bricks baked from the clay excavated during tunnelling, it opened in 1842 and was briefly the longest tunnel in the world. In 1939 it was converted into an air-raid shelter accommodating up to 9000 citizens during WW2 bombing raids. Now open as a visitor attraction for public tours, school workshops and special cultural events.
The Weardale Railway is part of a line which originally ran from Bishop Auckland, following the River Wear westwards to the village of Wearhead by 1895. The line was started as an offshoot of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1847 to transport material to the ironworks of Teesside. Passenger services were withdrawn in 1953 and further shortened at Eastgate by 1968. The line was retained for freight use, transporting bulk cement from the Blue Circle works at Eastgate. This ceased in 1993, which led to a campaign to save the railway and the development of the Weardale Railway Trust in 1996. Volunteers currently run trains during Easter and Halloween.