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Robert Stephenson Trust
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THE ROBERT STEPHENSON TRUST,
c/o The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE
Email: rstrust@robertstephensontrust.com
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Stephenson’s Works - a gem from Newcastle’s industrial heritage
In 1823 George and Robert Stephenson, along with three partners, opened the world’s first purpose built locomotive works on Forth Banks, Newcastle upon Tyne. Robert, at the age of 19, was the Managing Partner.

The famous locomotives “Locomotion” and “Rocket” were built here and the works subsequently exported locomotives to developing railways all over the world - often the first to be seen in those countries.

Part of these historic works has been rescued from near dereliction.

What has been saved

The parts of Stephenson's South Street Works which have been restored and preserved are the former office block and the former boiler and plate shop.

The present day frontage of 20 South Street, the former offices of Robert Stephenson & Co's locomotive works.  At the far left of the photograph the beam from a beam engine has been used as a lintel over the boiler shop door.

A large mezzanine floor, over part of the boiler and plate shop has been restored.
One of the beam engines which powered the machinery in South Street Works survives and can be seen at Beamish Museum. This engine was built in the works in 1823.

The engine is of the 'grasshopper' design, which produced a more compact engine than a full beam.  The column supporting the left-hand end of the beam is hinged at both top and bottom.  Movement of the beam is guided by this column and the swinging links at the top right of the engine

Products of the works

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After 1904

While some of the locomotive shops were acquired by their Forth Banks neighbours, R. & W. Hawthorn Leslie, the bulk of the site passed to George and Jobling, motor engineers.  They were engaged in importing Ford chassis and building bespoke bodies for them.  George (of George and Jobling) was one of the first 100 pioneer aviators and during the First World War aeroplanes were constructed on site.  It is said that these were Sopwith Camels.  The notable 'Golden Ford' racing car, the subject of a TV documentary chronicling its rebuilding in 2004, was built in the works.

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To View Channel 4 Golden Ford Webpage

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