Ouston-Pelaw Dilly Line (Wagonway)

The Ouston-Pelaw Wagonway (Dilly Line) was in what is now Gateshead's patch from Birtley to Pelaw passing through High Heworth to take Heworth Colliery coal to the staithes at Pelaw.

The name Dilly (sometimes spelt as Dilley) Line is not exclusive to this line and indeed there was one from
Throckley to Lemington. If you follow that link you'll see that the author says the name derives from the steam engine that pulled the trucks but that's not universally true..indeed the Ouston Pelaw line had no truck- pulling steam engine . Is it the truck, the engine or the line that is the dilly. All three, it would appear. From Madagascar we have "In bituminous coal mining....a dilly (light wagon, truck, or water cart) used to haul coal or water underground or at the surface of a mine....". In Wylam we have all the locomotives being called dillies. Joseph Wright's English dialect dictionary allows these and the counter balancing system where no locomotive is involved. This is the definition in GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED IN COAL MINING. BY WILLIAM  STUKELBY GRESLEY,

DILLY (N.). A counter-balance mounted upon two pairs of tram wheels by means of which the empty tubs are carried up an underground incline of a greater inclination than 1 in 3. 

See Wikipedia's take on Wagonways

Here's a map, in Felling Local History Society's "File on Felling" (Pelaw Library) showing the Wagonway passing through Wardley, Pelaw and Bill Quay
Folk in the High Heworth area use it for dog walking and cycling as do Wardley and Pelaw/Bill Quay folk and perhaps many don't realise they are using the same wagonway. Follow the blue signs saying The Angel Cycleway
Here's a word description starting from High Heworth.  It passes down to Low Heworth to the left of Whitehill Drive, down behind Hill Crest. This is the sign just before it passes over the bridge above Colgate near Colgate County Primary School

down at the back of St Cuthbert's Drive, crosses over High Heworth Lane just next to the new Heworth Leisure Centre (swimming baths/gym), 
down behind Laburnum Gardens, over Sunderland Road Villas and under the By-Pass, through to Wardley..see the map for the rest of the route

The staiths
Read Lyn Green's great pen picture on Vikki Lawlor's website. 
He describes what he remembers but his memory is of the line bringing coal from Heworth Colliery only. It is merely one snapshot in time. The line had a long life, indeed it was laid between 1805 and 1819 and lasted until the 1930's.

 Here the line, staiths and steam engine are being offered for sale in 1834

Lets finish with a taste of Wagonways in action