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Wednesday, 10 June 2020

John Bowes' Daniel O'Rourke

John Bowes as he presented himself on his Gibside & other estates.
His Marley Hill business is covered in a recent Tanfield Facebook post.
(from A Century of Locomotive Building by Stephenson by JGH Warren, 1923)
In early days, it was common for locomotives built by Stephensons to be assembled at collieries.   The Thompson brothers were said to have built a 'grasshopper' loco for Springwell in the 1820s.   The drawing above shows the loco as rebuilt by Stephensons.   In 1854, the Thompsons built a small 0-4-0 at Marley Hill for use on the extension of the Springwell line (by Palmer) past our shed, when it became the Pontop & Jarrow Railway.   There are no known photos of this, the only locomotive to be built at Marley Hill, but it was named after Daniel O'Rourke, a painting of which is:
Daniel O'Rourke, led by Mr Markwell, jockey Frank Butler, painter Harry Hall
(see Art Fund for more details)
Daniel O'Rourke was owned by John Bowes, who was very horse-savvy (cf Bowes-Lyons).  As an unfancied small thoroughbred Daniel O'Rourke won the 1852 Derby in heavy going (cf Red Marauder).   The name on the loco was thus contemporary & apt - perhaps it led to naming policy on NER express locos.

More information on early locos at Marley Hill can be found in a recent Tanfield Facebook post.

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