Saturday, 3 January 2009
Today we went Newcastle to pick up my Dad's new car and rather than stopping at a service station for lunch we came ever so slightly off the A1 at Shildon. A bit nicer than many motorway services too (especially Leeming Bar services).
It's only the second time I've actually been to Locomotion. It's a strange place too; incorporating the Hackworth Museum and providing what is effectively a store which is open to the public; the exhibits would, in some cases, be stored away from public view otherwise. Shildon is not an obvious choice for a tourist attraction either. That's not to criticise the town; it is a true railway town, built by the railways. Probably one of the oldest railway towns in fact. As one drives through there are many reminders of its past - even the signal which features in so many of the Stockton & Darlington 125 photos as locos left the wagon works for the cavalcade. I do hope that the town has benefitted from the museum.
It is worth a visit though if you are in the North East. The layout of the building means photography isn't that easy but you can get 'up close and personal' with the vehicles with few problems - the only problem I had was the Christmas 'decorations' which blocked the view for even looking at, let alone taking photos of, some items of stock!
The site is quite wide spread and involves a half mile walk from one end to the other; it does feel like the location has a lot of currently unfulfilled potential. I don't what the plans are, if there are indeed any, but it could be made into something really special.
I enjoyed my rather brief visit to Locomotion and would like to return at some point possibly visiting North Road at the same time as I've never been there and both museums have a good selection of exhibits from the premier pre-grouping company, The North Eastern Railway!