Did you know? Tanfield Waggonway was 4' gauge; Hawks Waggonway (Gateshead) 4'3"; Wylam Waggonway used 5' gauge; Willington Waggonway 4'8", hence Killingworth Waggonway 4'8" & from there the Stephensons' influence spread to Hetton, the S&DR, the L&MR, across Britain & the world.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Then & Now

I came across an interesting on line facility available from the National Library of Scotland.   It allows you to view an old OS map alongside & synchronized with a current satellite view.

Some examples:
1.  The route of the Marsden Rattler - follow it south east to the paper mill beyond Whitburn Colliery, or head west to Whitburn Colliery Junction on the Pontop & South Shields Branch, & beyond
The Marsden Rattler

2.  The Tanfield Branch beyond East Tanfield - follow the line to Whiteley Head, past Tanfield Moor Pit, onto the Harelaw Waggonway, note how close it runs to the P&JR, and head eventually onto the Annfield Plain Branch heading for South Shields.
Looking north east across Tanfield Lane in 1954
(photo courtesy of Derek Charlton)

3.  From Backworth Shed, head south for the Tyne - cross the Metro line at Backworth Station, near Middle Engine cross over the Blyth & Tyne, then run alongside the B&T, pass to the east of Percy Main, crossing the Metro line again, then head straight for Whitehill Point.   Here, you'd be able to cross the Tyne on the ferry & land near Harton High Staiths, in South Shields again!
49 & 60 at Backworth - full description & similar photos at Plumb Loco 

Note that you needn't follow railways - you could look at the historical maps where you live, perhaps to see if your new house is near a pit shaft.   Present day footpaths are shown where they follow old railways.   

Set Swipe ON at window top right, perhaps moving the screen divider, for a useful alternative.   Enjoy!

If you find anything interesting, please add a link as a comment.

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