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Author: admin, 04.02.2014. Category: The Power Of Thinking

Engineers such as William Hedley, George Stephenson and Timothy Hackworth worked in local collieries experimenting with locomotive transport.
From a walled medieval town of monks and merchants, Newcastle has been converted into a busy centre of commerce and manufactures inhabited by nearly 100,000 people.
As you pass through the country at night, the earth looks as if were bursting with fire at many points; the blaze of coke-ovens, iron-furnaces, and coal heaps reddening the sky to such a distance that the horizon seems to be a glowing belt of fire. In the north-eastern corner of England lies the great carboniferous deposit which supplied in 1845 eleven-twelths of the entire mass of coal burned in the grates and furnaces of the kingdom. When a young couple get married they generally go to a furniture broker in Newcastle or Sunderland, with perhaps £10 of ready money, obtaining a considerable part of their purchases upon credit, and paying for it by installments. There is a considerable number of lodging-houses in Newcastle, some of the rooms of which are frequently occupied by from 15 to 20 persons each.
There were also local salt deposits and local people were also involved in the manufacture of soap. In 1823 Edward Pease joined with George Stephenson and his son Robert Stephenson, to form a company to make the locomotives.
The population grew steadily throughout the 19th century, going from 33,000 in 1801 to 109,000 in 1861.


It is seated upon the River Tyne, which is here a noble, large and deep river, and ships of any reasonable size may come safely up to the very town. Newcastle is in many respects a town of singular and curious interest, especially in its older parts, which are full of crooked lanes and narrow streets. From the necessity which existed for facilitating the transport of coals from the pits to the shipping places, it is easy to understand how the railway and the locomotive should have first found their home in such a district. Between the Coquet and the Tees run the Tyne and the Wear, draining the broadest and richest portions of the coalfield, and on their banks lie scattered the oldest, deepest and the most extensive pits.
Those of the lowest class usually contain only one room; those of the second contain a large room and an attic.
Here is bedroom and kitchen - here the men and the boys, on their return from the pit, wash their almost naked bodies, too often in the presence of growing-up daughters and sisters and here too the women dress and undress.
In these houses the most deplorable scenes of profligacy and depravity are met with, both sexes being crowded together in a manner injurious to both health and morals.
Coal, salt, soap and glass were transported from the town by coastal vessels and by the beginning of the 18th century Newcastle was the most important town in the North East. The Robert Stephenson & Company, at Forth Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, became the world's first locomotive builder.


Robert Stephenson built the high level bridge between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Gateshead in 1849. The prosperity of 19th century Newcastle is reflected in the architecture of John Dobson (1787-1865) and John Green (1787-1852). The best houses consist of two rooms on the ground floor, with generally an attic over one of them.
The men say they cannot wash upstairs, as the water would plash through the frequently warped flooring down upon the furniture, and perhaps the bed below.
A medical gentleman told me that in the common lodging-houses where travelling vagrants are often attacked with fever, etc., and in many cases die, the beds are the very next night occupied by fresh inmates, who of course are infected with the same disorder. They build ships here to perfection, I mean as to strength and firmness, and to bear the sea; and as the coal trade occasions a demand for such strong ships, a great many are built here.




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