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 Stockton-on-Tees is a market town in County Durham, England.

 

Stockton is an Anglo-Saxon name with the typical Anglo-Saxon place name ending 'ton' meaning farm, or homestead.

 

The name is thought by some to derive from the Anglo-Saxon word Stocc meaning log, tree trunk or wooden post. 'Stockton' could therefore mean a farm built of logs. This is disputed, because when the word Stocc forms the first part of a place name it usually indicates a derivation from the similar word Stoc, meaning cell, monastery or place. 'Stoc' names along with places called Stoke or Stow, usually indicate farms which belonged to a manor or religious house. It is thought that Stockton fell into this category and perhaps the name is an indication that Stockton was an outpost of Durham or Norton which were both important Anglo-Saxon centres. This is a matter of dispute, but Stockton was only a part of Norton until the eighteenth century, when it became an independent parish in its own right. Today the roles have been reversed and Norton has been demoted to a part of Stockton.

 

Prehistory

 

Stockton is known to be the home of the fossilised remains of the most northerly hippopotamus ever discovered on Earth. In 1958, an archeological dig four miles north-west of the town discovered a molar tooth from a hippo dating back 125,000 years ago. However, no-one knows where exactly the tooth was discovered, who discovered it, or why the dig took place. The tooth was sent to the borough's librarian and curator, G. F. Leighton, who then sent to the Natural History Museum, London. Since then the tooth has been missing, and people are trying to rediscover it.

Early history

 

Stockton began as an Anglo-Saxon settlement on high ground close to the northern bank of the River Tees.

 

The manor of Stockton was created around 1138 and was purchased by Bishop Pudsey of Durham in 1189. During the 13th century, the bishop turned the village of Stockton into a borough. When the bishop freed the serfs of Stockton, craftsmen came to live in the new town. The bishop had a residence in Stockton Castle, which was just a fortified manor house. The first recorded reference to the castle was in 1376.

 

Stockton's market can trace its history to 1310,[3] when Bishop Bek of Durham granted a market charter  to our town of Stockton a market upon every Wednesday for ever. The town grew into a busy little port, exporting wool and importing wine which was demanded by the upper class. However even by the standards of the time, medieval Stockton-on-Tees was a small town with a population of only around 1,000, and did not grow any larger for centuries.

 

The Scots captured Stockton Castle in 1644 and occupied it until 1646. It was destroyed at the order of Oliver Cromwell at the end of the Civil War. A shopping centre, the Castlegate Centre, now occupies the castle area. No known accurate depictions of the castle exist.

The Town House was built in 1735 and the first theatre in Stockton opened in 1766. In 1771, a five arch stone bridge was built replacing the nearby Bishop's Ferry. Until the opening of the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge in 1911, this was the lowest bridging point on the Tees. From the end of the 18th century the Industrial Revolution changed Stockton from a small and quiet market town into a flourishing centre of heavy industry.

 

 

 

Industrial history

 

Shipbuilding in Stockton, which had begun in the 15th century, prospered in the 17th and 18th centuries. Smaller-scale industries began developing around this time, such as brick, sail and rope making, the latter reflected in road names such as Ropery Street in the town centre. Stockton became the major port for County Durham, the North Riding of Yorkshire and Westmorland during this period, exporting mainly rope made in the town, agricultural produce and lead from the Yorkshire Dales.

The town grew rapidly as the Industrial Revolution progressed, with iron making and engineering beginning in the town in the 18th century. The town's population grew from 10,000 in 1851 to over 50,000 in 1901 as workers moved in. The discovery of iron ore in the Eston Hills resulted in blast furnaces lining the River Tees from Stockton to the river's mouth. In 1820 an Act set up the Commissioners, a body with responsibility for lighting and cleaning the streets. From 1822 Stockton-on-Tees was lit by gas.

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0a/Locomotion_%281925_cavalcade%29.jpg/250px-Locomotion_%281925_cavalcade%29.jpg

 

Locomotion No 1 of the Stockton & Darlington Railway at the 1925 100th anniversary cavalcade.

 

In 1822, Stockton witnessed an event which changed the face of the world forever and heralded the dawn of a new era in trade, industry and travel. The first rail of George Stephenson's Stockton and Darlington Railway was laid near St. John's crossing on Bridge Road. Hauled by Locomotion No 1, the great engineer himself manned the engine on its first journey on 27 September 1825.[7] Fellow engineer and friend, Timothy Hackworth acted as guard. This was the world's first passenger railway, connecting Stockton with Shildon. The opening of the railway greatly boosted Stockton, making it easier to bring coal to the factories; however the port declined as business had moved down river to Middlesbrough.

 

Stockton witnessed another discovery in 1827. Local chemist John Walker invented the friction match in his shop at 59 High Street. The first sale of the matches was recorded in his sales-book on 7 April 1827, to a Mr. Hixon, a solicitor in the town. Since he did not obtain a patent, Walker received neither fame nor wealth for his invention, but he was able to retire some years before his death. He died in 1859 at the age of 78 and is buried in the parish churchyard in Norton village.

 

The first bell for Big Ben was cast by John Warner and Sons in Norton on 6 August 1856, but became damaged beyond repair while being tested on site and had to be replaced by a foundry more local to Westminster.[8] A hospital opened in Stockton in 1862 and a public library opened in 1877.

 

Steam trams began running in the streets in 1881 and were replaced by electric trams in 1897. Buses replaced the trams in 1931. In the 1930s slums were cleared and the first council houses were built. At this time, Stockton was still dominated by the engineering industry and there was also a chemicals industry in the town. In the late 20th century manufacturing industry severely declined, although the service industries grew, and today are the town's main employers.

 

On 10 September 1933 the Battle of Stockton took place, in which between 200 and 300 supporters of the British Union of Fascists were taken to Stockton and attempted to hold a rally in the town, but they were driven out by up to 2,000 anti-fascist demonstrators.

 

The Ragworth district near the town centre was the scene of rioting in July 1992, when local youths threw stones at buildings, set cars alight and threw missiles at police and fire crews. The area later saw a 12million regeneration which involved mass demolition or refurbishment of the existing properties, as well as new housing and community facilities being built.

It became a unitary authority on 1 April 1996 and part of the Tees Valley region. For ceremonial purposes the borough is split between County Durham and North Yorkshire, along the line of the River Tees as shown in the map (left) with County Durham to the north and North Yorkshire to the south. It is the only council area in England or Wales to be split between two ceremonial counties.

 

 

The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) was a railway company that operated in north-east England from 1825 to 1863. The world's first public railway to use steam locomotives, its first line connected collieries near Shildon with Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington, and was officially opened on 27 September 1825. The movement of coal to ships rapidly became a lucrative business, and the line was soon extended to a new port and town at Middlesbrough. While coal waggons were hauled by steam locomotives from the start, passengers were carried in coaches drawn by horses until carriages hauled by steam locomotives were introduced in 1833.

The S&DR was involved in the building of the East Coast Main Line between York and Darlington, but its main expansion was at Middlesbrough Docks and west into Weardale and east to Redcar. It suffered severe financial difficulties at the end of the 1840s and was nearly taken over by the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway, before the discovery of iron ore in Cleveland and the subsequent increase in revenue meant it could pay its debts. At the beginning of the 1860s it took over railways that had crossed the Pennines to join the West Coast Main Line at Tebay and Clifton, near Penrith.

 

The company was taken over by the North Eastern Railway in 1863, transferring 200 route miles (320 route kilometres) of line and about 160 locomotives, but continued to operate independently as the Darlington Section until 1876. The opening of the S&DR was seen as proof of the effectiveness of steam railways and its anniversary was celebrated in 1875, 1925 and 1975. Much of the original route is now served by the Tees Valley Line, operated by Northern.

 

Origins

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/6d/Stockton_and_Darlington_seal_%28en%29.jpg/220px-Stockton_and_Darlington_seal_%28en%29.jpg

The seal of the Stockton & Darlington Railway

 

Coal from the inland mines in southern County Durham was taken away on packhorses, and then horse and carts as the roads were improved. A canal was proposed by George Dixon in 1767 and again by John Rennie in 1815, but both schemes failed. Meanwhile, the port of Stockton-on-Tees, from which the Durham coal was transported onwards by sea, had invested considerably during the early 19th century in straightening the Tees in order to improve navigation on the river downstream of the town and was subsequently looking for ways to increase trade to recoup those costs.

 

A few years later a canal was proposed on a route that bypassed Darlington and Yarm, and a meeting was held in Yarm to oppose the route.[4] The Welsh engineer George Overton was consulted, and he advised building a tramroad. Overton carried out a survey[5] and planned a route from the Etherley and Witton Collieries to Shildon, and then passing to the north of Darlington to reach Stockton. The Scottish engineer Robert Stevenson was said to favour the railway, and the Quaker Edward Pease supported it at a public meeting in Darlington on 13 November 1818, promising a five per cent return on investment. Approximately two-thirds of the shares were sold locally, and the rest were bought by Quakers nationally.[8][note 1][note 2] A private bill was presented to Parliament in March 1819, but as the route passed through Earl of Eldon's estate and one of the Earl of Darlington's fox coverts, it was opposed and defeated by 13 votes.

 

Overton surveyed a new line that avoided Darlington's estate and agreement was reached with Eldon, but another application was deferred early in 1820, as the death of King George III had made it unlikely a bill would pass that parliamentary year. The promoters lodged a bill on 30 September 1820, the route having changed again as agreement had not been reached with Viscount Barrington about the line passing over his land. The railway was unopposed this time, but the bill nearly failed to enter the committee stage as the required four-fifths of shares had not been sold. Pease subscribed 7,000; from that time he had considerable influence over the railway and it became known as "the Quaker line". The Act that received royal assent on 19 April 1821 allowed for a railway that could be used by anyone with suitably built vehicles on payment of a toll, that was closed at night, and with which land owners within 5 miles (8 km) could build branches and make junctions;[13][14] no mention was made of steam locomotives.[15] This new railway initiated the construction of more railway lines, causing significant developments in railway mapping and cartography, iron and steel manufacturing, as well as in any industries requiring more efficient transportation.

 

George Stephenson

 

Concerned about Overton's competence, Pease asked George Stephenson, an experienced enginewright of the collieries of Killingworth, to meet him in Darlington. On 12 May 1821 the shareholders appointed Thomas Meynell as Chairman and Jonathan Backhouse as treasurer; a majority of the managing committee, which included Thomas Richardson, Edward Pease and his son Joseph Pease, were Quakers. The committee designed a seal, showing waggons being pulled by a horse, and adopted the Latin motto Periculum privatum utilitas publica ("At private risk for public service"). By 23 July 1821 it had decided that the line would be a railway with edge rails, rather than a plateway, and appointed Stephenson to make a fresh survey of the line. Stephenson recommended using malleable iron rails, even though he owned a share of the patent for the alternative cast iron rails, and both types were used. Stephenson was assisted by his 18-year-old son Robert during the survey,[23] and by the end of 1821 had reported that a usable line could be built within the bounds of the Act, but another route would be shorter by 3 miles (5 km) and avoid deep cuttings and tunnels. Overton had kept himself available, but had no further involvement and the shareholders elected Stephenson Engineer on 22 January 1822, with a salary of 660 per year. On 23 May 1822 a ceremony in Stockton celebrated the laying of the first track at St John's Well, the rails 4 feet 8 inches (1.42 m) apart,[note 6] the same gauge used by Stephenson on his Killingworth Railway.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/66/First_Iron_railway_bridge_%28en%29.jpg/220px-First_Iron_railway_bridge_%28en%29.jpg

Stephenson's iron bridge across the Gaunless

 

Stephenson advocated the use of steam locomotives on the line.[15] Pease visited Killingworth in mid-1822[28] and the directors visited Hetton colliery railway, on which Stephenson had introduced steam locomotives.[29] A new bill was presented, requesting Stephenson's deviations from the original route and the use of "loco-motives or moveable engines", and this received assent on 23 May 1823.[30] The line included embankments up to 48 feet (15 m) high, and Stephenson designed an iron truss bridge to cross the River Gaunless. The stone bridge over the River Skerne was designed by the Durham architect Ignatius Bonomi.

In 1823 Stephenson and Pease opened Robert Stephenson and Company, a locomotive works at Forth Street, Newcastle, from which the following year the S&DR ordered two steam locomotives and two stationary engines.[33] On 16 September 1825, with the stationary engines in place, the first locomotive, Locomotion No. 1, left the works, and the following day it was advertised that the railway would open on 27 September 1825.

Opening

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8a/The_Opening_of_the_S%26DR_%28crop%29.jpg/220px-The_Opening_of_the_S%26DR_%28crop%29.jpg

The opening procession of the Stockton and Darlington Railway crosses the Skerne bridge

 

The cost of building the railway had greatly exceeded the estimates. By September 1825 the company had borrowed 60,000 in short-term loans and needed to start earning an income to ward off its creditors. A railway coach, named Experiment,[note 8] arrived on the evening of 26 September 1825 and was attached to Locomotion No. 1, which had been placed on the rails for the first time at Aycliffe Lane station following the completion of its journey by road from Newcastle earlier that same day. Pease, Stephenson and other members of the committee then made an experimental journey to Darlington before taking the locomotive and coach to Shildon in preparation for the opening day, with James Stephenson, George's elder brother, at the controls.[36] On 27 September, between 7am and 8am, 12 waggons of coal[note 9] were drawn up Etherley North Bank by a rope attached to the stationary engine at the top, and then let down the South Bank to St Helen's Auckland. A waggon of flour bags was attached and horses hauled the train across the Gaunless Bridge to the bottom of Brusselton West Bank, where thousands watched the second stationary engine draw the train up the incline. The train was let down the East Bank to Mason's Arms Crossing at Shildon Lane End, where Locomotion No. 1, Experiment and 21 new coal waggons fitted with seats were waiting.

The directors had allowed room for 300 passengers, but the train left carrying between 450 and 600 people, most travelling in empty waggons but some on top of waggons full of coal. Brakesmen were placed between the waggons, and the train set off, led by a man on horseback with a flag. It picked up speed on the gentle downward slope and reached 10 to 12 miles per hour (16 to 19 km/h), leaving behind men on field hunters (horses) who had tried to keep up with the procession. The train stopped when the waggon carrying the company surveyors and engineers lost a wheel; the waggon was left behind and the train continued. The train stopped again, this time for 35 minutes to repair the locomotive and the train set off again, reaching 15 mph (24 km/h) before it was welcomed by an estimated 10,000 people as it came to a stop at the Darlington branch junction. Eight and a half miles (14 km) had been covered in two hours, and subtracting the 55 minutes accounted by the two stops, it had travelled at an average speed of 8 mph (13 km/h). Six waggons of coal were distributed to the poor, workers stopped for refreshments and many of the passengers from Brusselton alighted at Darlington, to be replaced by others.

Two waggons for the Yarm Band were attached, and at 12:30pm the locomotive started for Stockton, now hauling 31 vehicles with 550 passengers. On the 5 miles (8 km) of nearly level track east of Darlington the train struggled to reach more than 4 mph (6.4 km/h). At Eaglescliffe near Yarm crowds waited for the train to cross the Stockton to Yarm turnpike. Approaching Stockton, running alongside the turnpike as it skirted the western edge of Preston Park, it gained speed and reached 15 mph (24 km/h) again, before a man clinging to the outside of a waggon fell off and his foot was crushed by the following vehicle. As work on the final section of track to Stockton's quayside was still ongoing, the train halted at the temporary passenger terminus at St John's Well 3 hours, 7 minutes after leaving Darlington. The opening ceremony was considered a success and that evening 102 people sat down to a celebratory dinner at the Town Hall.

Early operations

 

The railway that opened in September 1825 was 25 miles (40 km) long and ran from Phoenix Pit, Old Etherley Colliery, to Cottage Row, Stockton; there was also a 1⁄2 mile (800 m) branch to the depot at Darlington, 1⁄2 mile (800 m) of the Hagger Leases branch, and a 3⁄4 mile (1,200 m) branch to Yarm.[44] Most of the track used 28 pounds per yard (14 kg/m) malleable iron rails, and 4 miles (6.4 km) of 57 1⁄2 lb/yd (28.5 kg/m) cast iron rails were used for junctions.[45] The line was single track with four passing loops each mile;[46] square sleepers supported each rail separately so that horses could walk between them.[31] Stone was used for the sleepers to the west of Darlington and oak to the east; Stephenson would have preferred all of them to have been stone, but the transport cost was too high as they were quarried in the Auckland area.[47] The railway opened with the company owing money and unable to raise further loans; Pease advanced money twice early in 1826 so the workers could be paid. By August 1827 the company had paid its debts and was able to raise more money; that month the Black Boy branch opened and construction began on the Croft and Hagger Leases branches. During 1827 shares rose from 120 at the start to 160 at the end.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/da/Stockton_%26_Darlington_Railway_with_today%27s_lines.svg/500px-Stockton_%26_Darlington_Railway_with_today%27s_lines.svg.png

The route of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1827, shown in black, with today's railway lines shown in red

 

Initially the line was used to carry coal to Darlington and Stockton, carrying 10,000 tons[note 10] in the first three months and earning nearly 2,000. In Stockton the price of coal dropped from 18 to 12 shillings, and by the beginning of 1827 was 8 shillings 6 pence (8s 6d).[49][note 4] Initially the drivers had been paid a daily wage, but after February 1826 they were paid ​1⁄4d per ton per mile; from this they had to pay assistants and fireman and to buy coal for the locomotive.[50] The 1821 Act had received opposition from the owners of collieries on the River Wear who supplied London and feared competition, and it had been necessary to restrict the rate for transporting coal destined for ships to ​1⁄2d per ton per mile, which had been assumed would make the business uneconomic. There was interest from London for 100,000 tons a year, so the company began investigations in September 1825. In January 1826 the first staith[note 11] opened at Stockton, designed so waggons over a ship's hold could discharge coal from the bottom. A little over 18,500 tons of coal was transported to ships in the year ending June 1827 and this increased to over 52,000 tons the following year, ​44 1⁄2 per cent of the total carried.

The locomotives were unreliable at first. Soon after opening, Locomotion No. 1 broke a wheel, and it was not ready for traffic until 12 or 13 October; Hope, the second locomotive, arrived in November 1825 but needed a week to ready it for the line  the cast-iron wheels were a source of trouble.[54] Two more locomotives of a similar design arrived in 1826; that August 16s 9d was spent on ale to motivate the men maintaining the engines. By the end of 1827 the company had also bought Chittaprat from Robert Wilson and Experiment from Stephenson. Timothy Hackworth, locomotive superintendent, used the boiler from the unsuccessful Chittaprat to build the Royal George in the works at Shildon; it started work at the end of November.[55] John Wesley Hackworth later published an account[note 12] stating that locomotives would have been abandoned were it not for the fact that Pease and Thomas Richardson were partners with Stephenson in the Newcastle works, and that when Timothy Hackworth was commissioned to rebuild Chittaprat it was "as a last experiment" to "make an engine in his own way". Both Tomlinson and Rolt[note 13] state this claim was unfounded and the company had shown earlier that locomotives were superior to horses, Tomlinson showing that coal was being moved using locomotives at half the cost of horses. Robert Young states that the company was unsure as to the real costs as they reported to shareholders in 1828 that the saving using locomotives was 30 per cent. Young also showed that Pease and Richardson were both concerned about their investment in the Newcastle works and Pease unsuccessfully tried to sell his share to George Stephenson.

New locomotives were ordered from Stephenson's, but the first was too heavy when it arrived in February 1828. It was rebuilt with six wheels and hailed as a great improvement, Hackworth being told to convert the remaining locomotives as soon as possible. In 1828 two locomotive boilers exploded within four months, both killing the driver and both due to the safety valves being left fixed down while the engine was stationary. Horses were also used on the line, and they could haul up to four waggons. The dandy cart was introduced in mid-1828: a small cart at the end of the train, this carried the horse downhill, allowing it to rest and the train to run at higher speed. The S&DR made their use compulsory from November 1828.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cf/Stockton_%26_Darlington_Railway_Union_Coach.jpg/220px-Stockton_%26_Darlington_Railway_Union_Coach.jpg

The Union coach as shown in an advertisement

 

Passenger traffic started on 10 October 1825, after the required licence was purchased, using the Experiment coach hauled by a horse. The coach was initially timetabled to travel from Stockton to Darlington in two hours, with a fare of 1s, and made a return journey four days a week and a one-way journey on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In April 1826 the operation of the coach was contracted for 200 a year; by then the timetabled journey time had been reduced to ​1 1⁄4 hours and passengers were allowed to travel on the outside for 9d. A more comfortable coach, Express, started the same month and charged 1s 6d for travel inside. Innkeepers began running coaches, two to Shildon from July, and the Union, which served the Yarm branch from 16 October. There were no stations: in Darlington the coaches picked up passengers near the north road crossing, whereas in Stockton they picked up at different places on the quay. Between 30,000 and 40,000 passengers were carried between July 1826 and June 1827.

 

 

 

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