Weight and Stuff Report – 6 June 2015

Back up a wee bit after yesterday’s extra-low figure, but still doing pretty well, all things considered.

I wasn’t up and about quite so early this Saturday, but that didn’t stop me getting out and about. After some dithering[1], I decided to cross an item off my virtual to-do list[2] and go to the Head Of Steam Railway Museum in Darlington. I learned of its existence when I passed on a train heading to Shildon[3], and again when I went to Bishop Auckland, and thought it might be worth a visit. I checked out the route, and found it was a moderate walk from Darlington town centre, or a short train ride if I managed to get to Darlington in time for the right train. I decided on the walking option, which wasn’t bad at all, though it was a wee bit windy. Admission is £4.95, which I thought was pretty good value.

The museum is in the old North Road station, which was the town’s main station until things moved to the East Coast Main Line station known as Bank Top. Inside, you start off with a video presented by Pete Waterman (in his railway enthusiast mode, nasty 80s pop not included), and then have a wander around the building. There are lots of displays to read, models on show, the err, Victorian gents toilets, and all that sort of thing, but the main event has to be the locomotives. Most are technically speaking owned by the National Railway Museum, but live in Darlington. This is particularly appropriate for this lovely thing:



Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/110s
Focal length: 18mm
ISO: 6400
Taken: 6 June, 2015

That there is the actual Stephenson’s Locomotion – the engine that pulled the first trains on the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which was not to put too fine a point on it, the beginning of steam railways. It’s very different from Stephenson’s later Rocket – this one still looks like a stationary engine that’s had wheels mounted on it rather than something designed purely for moving, but it was a vital early stage. And it’s good to see the actual engine rather than a replica in the original home of the railway.

[1] No change there, then…
[2] Creating an actual list is an item on that list
[3] Not bad, only about three years. I’m catching up