The 1925 Centenary Celebrations were held on 2nd July, 1925, attended by the Duke and Duchess of York, who spent the night at Heaton Carriage Sidings at Fencehouses. The locomotive a D20 4-4-0 No. 2110, arrived at Fencehouses at 9.35 a.m., ready to form the 10.00 a.m. special train to the main viewing stand. A large grandstand stood on the north side of the Darlington to Eaglescliffe line between Goosepool and Urlay Nook signal-boxes. After being received by Viscount Grey of Fallodon, Sir Hugh Bell, Sir Ralph Wedgewood (General Manager, L.N.E.R.) and the Directors of the L.N.E.R., the Royal Party took their seats. The Royal Train reached the stand at 10.46 a.m., by which time the first locomotive in the cavalcade, the Hetton Colliery locomotive, travelling under its own steam, had passed the Urlay Nook signal-box and arrived in front of the grandstand at approximately 11.00 a.m.
Each single unit in the cavalcade had to stay 135 yards apart, and for this purpose marker boards were placed at set intervals along the track. Trains were required to stay 270 yards apart. The crews were issued with a white flag, and should any unit be brought to a standstill the flag had to be held out the right hand side of the footplate. this was repeated down the line of the cavalcade.
No. 2 in the cavalcade was "Derwent", again travelling under its own steam.A Timothy Hackworth designed locomotive, and built by Kitching in 1845. Now preserved at Darlington Railway Centre and Museum.
The driver of Derwent was George Danby of Shildon and together with his passenger a Mr. J. Batey, was dressed in a bright coloured frockcoat and tall hat of the early 1800's.
At the grandstand stood two porters making announcements through megaphones, describing the locomotives as they approached.
No. 3 was the North British Railway 0-6-0, No. 381, built in 1867.
Photographed as it left the North Shore branch at Stockton.
A mineral and freight loco designed by Thomas Wheatley - Class E (LNER J31).
twenty six J31s were built between 1867 and 1869 by contractors (Neilson & Co. and Dubs & Co).
The Locomotives taking part in the Cavalcade were:
he smallest engine was the North Eastern Railbus 130Y. A standard Leyland road vehicle fitted with rail wheels and adapted with controls to enable it to be driven from the rear of the vehicle.
It was used by the Company in the Durham area and later, York and Selby areas. It was destroyed by a fire in 1926.
L.N.E.R. 130 (0-8-0), built in Gateshead in 1902 and used in France during World War I, hauled a tableaux train.
The tableaux were mounted on six 40 ton wagons, with six 12 ton goods wagons between each, carrying captions, plus a brake van.
They displayed the evolution of the wheel in transport from its use by early man to the development of the railways worldwide.
1. Symbolic wheel, with early astrologers.
2.The first wheel, with early man.
3. Pharaohs drawn by slaves on wheeled platforms.
4. Wheels abandoned-Sedan chairs.
5.Use of the wheel on locomotives.-George Stephenson and friends.
6.The worldwide use of railways.
Behind the tableaux procession was Pacific No. 2400, "City of Newcastle", hauling a vestibule train, "The Flying Scotsman", with Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and schoolchildren from Darlington and Stockton as passengers.
After the end of the cavalcade, the first train to leave the grandstand carried the Mayor of Stockton and his party to Stockton Station, so that the party could greet the Duke and Duchess of York, who arrived some 20 minutes later. After inspecting the old S. & D.R. coach, recently put on display on the station, the party left for lunch at the Borough Hall.
Following lunch, the party made the short journey by car to St. Johns Crossing, at the old Stockton and Darlington railway booking office, where they were met by Sir Hugh Bell, a Director of the L.N.E.R.
Before their departure and their return to London, the Duke unveiled a commemorative plaque on the wall of the first railway booking office.
The centenary was held in July to coincide with the meeting in this country of the International Railway Congress, which included delegates from all over the world.
On the day before the cavalcade an exhibition was opened at the new Faverdale Works, of locomotives, rolling stock, documents and various railway items. These had been collected by the former Assistant General Superintendent of the North Eastern Railway for subsequent display at the proposed Railway Museum at York.
The exhibition was boosted after the cavalcade by the display of the locomotives taking part and the arrival of other items.
A large range of locomotives were on display, which included:
With a large selection of Coaches and other rolling stock, the exhibition lived upto the organizers expectations as a celebration and tribute to those early pioneers of the Stockton & Darlington Railway.
The exhibition remained open to the public until the 18th July.