Recent Comments


Recent Comments


Sandsend Station

A view of Sandsend railway station viewed from the west, looking towards the hill at the bottom of which is the road and present day protruding pedestrian walkway.

Image courtesy of Maurice Grayson.


B.I.S.A.K.T.A Members card, the predecessor of the I.S.T.C. union; itself now known as the Community Union.

Courtesy of the collection of Eric Johnson.


Originally formed as a malleable iron workers union ( Wrought or puddled iron); it amalgamated with another union, as steel superseded wrought iron.

Courtesy of the collection of Eric Johnson.


A small union formed at Darlington, the central picture shows the old Bessemer process.

Courtesy of the collection of Eric Johnson.

Banners 4

Scottish Steel Smelters union card; note the view of the Forth railway bridge at the top of the card.

Courtesy of the collection of Eric Johnson.


A Blast Furnace man’s union card.

Courtesy of the collection of Eric Johnson.


The front of the previous banner, showing several steelworks scenes.

Courtesy of the collection of Eric Johnson.


A brief history of the banner: after the unfurling ceremony the banner disappeared around 12 years later, and was lost until in 1950. It was discovered at the King’s Head Hotel, Grangetown; furled and lying in its dust covered box, in a sad state of decay. Sent to the Middlesbrough office and then to Union H.Q. in London in 1971. Proving too large for the union museum it returned to its box.
The Banner consists of a sheet of silk on both sides of which are painted various scenes in oils Over the years the panels cracked and the oils attacked the silk. The decision was made to send it to the Textile Conservation Centre at Hampton Court Palace where it was restored over a seven month period in 1989.

John Thomas has advised: “The Cleveland District of the Associated Iron and Steel Workers Banner, the gentleman seated at the rear with a beard was my Great Great Grandfather Edward Thomas (a member of the Northern Conciliation Board). He was born in Holywell Wales and is buried in Eston Cemetery, the grave stone was erected by his fellow workmen in recognition of his valuable services rendered as a representative.”

Courtesy of a collection of Eric Johnson; thanks to John Thomas for the update.

Staithes Viaduct once more

Train bound for Whitby, five coaches were normal in summer, reduced to two or three for winter service; believed to date from the mid 1950s. Mark Thompson ha sadvised: “A photograph of Staithes Viaduct, taken from the landward side, showing a 5 coach train travelling towards Whitby, headed by a large tank engine (possibly an A8 (4-6-2T) or maybe a BR Standard tank (2-6-4T) – or even a Thompson L1 tank (2-6-4T).” What a remarkably scenic railway this was – nowadays it would be the ideal candidate for preservation – and we cannot blame Dr Beeching for the closure of the line. As Andrew Hogan tells us: ”This line closed in 1958, Dr. Beeching did not come to power until 1962 and therefore had nothing to do with its closure.” 

Russ Pigott tells us: ”The loco is a class L1 2-6-4t and the photo was taken after 1956 as it has the later BR crest,maybe even closure day as there seems to be a lot of people (enthusiasts?) stood up and looking out of the coach windows.”

Image courtesy Maurice Grayson, thanks to Mark Thompson, Andrew Hogan and Russ Pigott for the updates.

Train to Loftus from Whitby

We wondered where this train was and the probable journey, having been told by Derick Pearson that it is the 67750 (locomotive number) and was on the Whitby to Loftus line. Tom Sayers has come to the rescue with the following information: ”This picture was taken just after the train had come out of the tunnel at Easington on the way to Loftus.”
Image courtesy of Maurice Grayson (from the Neville Stead Collection), with thanks to Derick and Tom for the updates.