Wylam Railway Museum opened in 1981, coinciding with the bicentenary of the birth of Wylam’s most famous son, George Stephenson (1781-1848), known as the Father of Railways.
It is located in the town of Wylam, 16 km west of Newcastle upon Tyne.
This tiny museum is housed in a former classroom of the old Wylam Primary School. It shares the building with the village library. The museum may be small but it is packed with interesting railway artefacts and exhibits.
There is a wall chart displaying obscure trivia about the history of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, the first railway to be built across Britain.
For example, station clerk Thomas Edmondson who invented a system of cardboard tickets that became the standard used around the world.
Then there was the Sabbatarian Reverend WC Burns, who put up this poster threatening eternal damnation to anyone who took a train trip on a Sunday.
Perhaps he foresaw that most of his hardworking parishioners would sooner spend their one day off per week quaffing ale in a pub in the North Pennines rather than listen to his dreary sermons.
Exhibits focus on the contribution of local railway pioneers such as George Stephenson, William Hedley, Timothy Hackworth and Nicholas Wood.
There are models of Wylam Station, North Wylam Station and Wylam Railway Bridge and large-scale models of two famous locomotives, Puffing Billy and Wylam Dilly, which were used at Wylam Colliery to haul coal wagons in the early 1800s. There are a lot of old photographs, maps and vintage railway posters on display.
Wylam Railway Museum
The Falcon Centre
This article first appeared on The Thrifty Traveller.