Hard Cover book Octavo, 9.75 inches x 7.75 inches, gilt-decorated reddish-brown cloth, fronts. pp 315pp., five further full-page illustrations.
Fifty years before the Railway Centenary celebrations, there had been a rather more modest event on 27 and 28 September 1875, marking the 50th anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington opening. A Jubilee Memorial…. was published in advance of the celebrations, and is therefore a little tentative on detail, but the events were to include a banquet (no Victorian celebration would be complete without one!) There being no hall big enough in Darlington, a huge marquee, hired from Edgingtons, the London contractors, was set up on the cricket field, and the catering arrangements were in the hands of a firm, also from London, who normally did the Lord Mayor's banquet. The unveiling of a statue of Edward Pease took place, and most interesting of all, an exhibition of locomotives at Darlington’s North Road locomotive works, but it was only open for two days.

Programme of Ceremonies


Booklet, Stiff paper covers. 8.5"x 5.5" pp40, plus three folding plans, route of Royal Progress through Stockton, plan of exhibition and banqueting hall at Faverdale, Grandstand enclosure for procession.
The LNER was never a prosperous undertaking, but whenever the opportunity offered to promote itself, it did so with superb attention to detail and panache. With the LNER managment structure composed of three divisions, each with a measure of autonomy, the lead in this instance fell to the North Eastern, under Divisional General Manager, George Davidson, who was on their arrival at Darlington Bank Top first LNER officer to be presented to the Duke and Duchess of York (themselves an appropriate choice of Royal Sponsors, given that before her marriage, the Duchess had been Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, with many family connections in the North East). Mr. Davidson accompanied the party by motor car to Faverdale Wagon Works, for a visit to the Exhibition. It should be noted that all these events were timed to the nearest MINUTE! At the works entrance, the party were received by William Whitelaw, Chairman of the LNER, Lord Faringdon, Deputy Chairman and Sir Ralph Wedgwood, Chief General Manager. After speeches and a brief opening ceremony (at 3-23pm!) their Royal Highnesses viewed the Exhibition from 3.30 pm (Mr. Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer, was on hand to explain some of the exhibits) before departing, again by motor car at 4.15 pm. Five minutes were allowed for leaving the Exhibition to reaching the motor cars at the gate. The Exhibition then opened to the public


Card covered booklet, stiff paper covers, 8.5"x 5.5", pp95. Not illustrated. £2.95

This is the catalogue for the North Road exhibition in July 1925 It is quite interesting to note, that the LNER had inherited a well equipped printing works at Stratford from the Great Eastern Railway, which would have been fully competent to produce this booklet, but the printing contract went to one of the North Eastern´s main printers – Ben Johnson & Co., of York. This was part of the company's policy of allowing each of the three divisions (Southern, North Eastern and Scottish ) considerable freedom of action, and Teasedale, the "Whole Line" Advertising Manager would not interfere with a local decision to place a contract with a tried and trusted supplier. lot one ends

Railway Centenary celebrations a retrospect by Randall Davis
Railway Centenary celebrations a retrospect by Randall Davis


Hard back book, green board covers, cream coloured cloth spine, title printed on pasted paper label, 11"x 8", 49pp three colour plates, 11 B&W illustrations. Description In some respects this is a rather odd publication. It seems to have been published as post script to the Darlington celebrations which had been publicised as The Centenary of Railways. This was something of an exaggeration. but marked the world-wide importance of the S&D as the first public railway to use steam locomotives, albeit as only for coal and goods traffic at first. RETROSPECT does place this in context, giving due mention to earlier railway developments, and to the Liverpool and Manchester. Opened in 1830, this could be regarded as the prototype modern railway – no horse haulage, and both passenger and goods conveyed in steam hauled trains.
Randall Davies (1866 – 1948), art historian and biographer of painters, seems an odd choice to commission for this work. He admits that he has relied heavily on Tomlinson's North Eastern Railway, and Warren's A Century of Locomotive Building, but he does reveal that he was related to John Dixon, one of George Stephenson’s assistants. He is able to quote from a letter by Dixon describing events at the Rainhill Trials in 1829, which describes Hackworth's anger over the failure of Sans Pareil to win, despite the fact that it failed to comply with the competition conditions of entry, and his comments verging on the slanderous about sabotage on the part of Stephenson.
RETROSPECT concludes with a chapter considering the world-wide effects of railways, including a coloured print, from the author's collection depicting the first railway in Japan.
I have never seen RETROSPECT offered for sale in any contemporary LNER advertisements. It is a little difficult to say who the intended readers were. It is expensively produced, printed on Abbey Mills cream laid paper, and contains quite lengthy passages in Latin and French with no English translations. Perhaps it was intended for presentation to selected guests? Certainly, in the early 1960s, in a dusty corner of the Advertising Bill room at York, there was a box containing a number of apparently forgotten copies.