1838 June 18. The Newcastle and Carlisle Railway was opened
throughout its whole extent, from Redheugh, a little to the west
of Gateshead, to the city of Carlisle. The vast number of ladies
and gentlemen who had assembled for the purpose of travelling to
the other end of the line, the countless spectators, and the numerous
bands of music, made up a scene of great animation and gaiety.
At half-past twelve o'clock the signal was given for the engines to
start, when the Rapid was despatched as an advanced guard,
without any train, and was followed by thirteen other engines,
drawing 120 well-filled carriages. The aggregate number of
passengers in all the trains was estimated at nearly 4,000, and the
trains, when close together, above half a mile in length. The gay
procession was received with great enthusiasm along the route,
particularly at Corbridge, Hexham, and Haydon Bridge, and the
whole party reached Carlisle between five and six o'clock The
shades of night had set in before the trains commenced their
homeward journey, and the first did not arrive at Redheugh until
between two and three o'clock in the morning, and many of them
at a much later hour.

1839 January 15. That portion of the Brandling Junction Railway,
extending from Redheugh to the depot at the east end of Hillgate,
Gateshead, was opened amidst a great concourse of spectators.

1839 May 21. That portion of the line of the Newcastle and
Carlisle Railway between Blaydon and the company's depot,
near the Elswick Shot Tower, Newcastle, was opened with some
ceremony. The opening for passenger traffic did not take place
till the 26th of October.

1839 August 30. The opening of the Brandling Junction Railway,
from Gateshead to Monkwearmouth, took place, when sixty-one
waggons of coal, from South Beaumont Colliery, were conveyed
along the line and shipped on board a vessel lying at Monkwear-
mouth Docks. This vessel the " Jane," of Aberdeen, Captain
Goldie, was most fantastically dressed out with flags of various
colours and designs, which floated in the breeze, giving an air of
much animation and rejoicing to the scene. A sumptuous
entertainment was prepared on the occasion, at the expense of the
Wearmouth Dock Company, at which Sir Hedworth Williamson,
bart, presided. On the 6th of September following, the entire
line, from Gateshead to South Shields and Sunderland, was opened
for the conveyance of passengers and goods, when the distance
from Gateshead to Morikwearmouth was performed in forty-six
minutes, and the return trip in forty-three minutes.

1848 August 29. The great and important desideratum the opening
of a railway communication between Newcastle and Gateshead
by a line of rails over the temporary scaffolding at the High Level
Bridge, was accomplished this day. About half-past one o'clock
Mr. Hudson, M.P., and his son, accompanied by a number of other
gentlemen, arrived from Sunderland, and were received at the
Gateshead Station by the Right Worshipful the Mayor of New-
castle, the Mayor of Gateshead, and a numerous body of gentlemen
A train, consisting of eight carriages, was drawn alongside the
platform, where an engine, gaily decorated with flags, was waiting
to take it across. Precisely at half-past two the train proceeded,
amidst the firing of cannon and the cheers of the assembled multi-
tude. As the train passed slowly and steadily over the approaches
to the bridge the anxiety of the immense body of spectators, whose
eyes were watching every movement, seemed to be most intense,
and the scene was truly exciting, yet it was not viewed without
some degree of fear, not only from the lofty position of the train
and its occupants but from the apparent narrowness and nakedness
of the platform on which it rolled along. It appeared, from the
absence of the usual noise, rather like an aerial flight than the
rattling and resistless sweep of the iron horse. Onward it came,
steadily and calmly, like a giant in his strength, safely traversing
the temporary bridge, and on reaching the north side was received
with a burst of cheers from the immense assemblage and a salute
from the castle guns. After changing the engine the train was
conveyed across the magnificent arch which spans the foot of Dean-
street to the Manors Station, where it was again welcomed by the
firing of cannon and renewed cheers. The company having
alighted the Right Worshipful the Mayor, accompanied by Mr*
Hudson and other gentlemen, proceeded to the Queen's Head Inn,
where they sat down to a splendid collation, the mayor presiding,
Captain Weatherley in the vice-chair. After the repast the
healths of Mr. Hudson and his staff, the Mayor and Corporation
of Newcastle, Messrs. Hawks and Crawshaw, Mr. Robert
Stephenson, Mrs. Hudson, &c., &c., were drank with enthusiasm,
and the company separated, highly gratified with the proceedings
of the day

1848 (February 19> This morning, at ten minutes to twelve
o'clock, an express train, arranged by Messrs. Smith and Sons,
newsagents, London, arrived at the Gateshead Station, with the
financial statement of Lord John Russell and the debate in parlia-
ment of the evening previous. The distance from the metropolis
to Gateshead having been performed in six hours and twenty

1849 September 28. This day the Queen, Prince Albert, and the
royal children visited Newcastle on their return from their annual
visit to Scotland. Unfortunately the weather did not, on this
occasion, second the wishes of the countless thousands who
assembled to greet their sovereign. But this by no means damped
the loyal enthusiasm of the inhabitants of, and visitors to, the
town. Numerous parties, many of them from considerable dis-
tances, had arrived the preceding day, and the influx of visitors
was so great that some had great difficulty in procuring accom-
modation. Triumphal arches were erected across the railway at
various parts of the line, and, notwithstanding -' the pelting of the
pitiless storm," great crowds assembled at every place likely to
afford a sight of the illustrious travellers. At Heaton there was*
a profuse display of flags and ornamental devices in flowers.
The tunnel under New Bridge-street and the arch of the Argyle-
street bridge were richly decorated with laurel, flowers, &c.,
arranged with great taste, and on the latter was a conspicuous
inscription " Welcome to Newcastle and Gateshead." From
thence to the Manors Railway Station a vast number of banners
floated in all directions, and flags were also displayed from the
spire of All Saints', the Castle, Guildhall, Mansion House, &c.,
&c., besides a number on the High Level Bridge. Dense masses
of spectators were upon every eminence commanding a view of
the railway, and the most enthusiastic loyalty was manifested by
all classes. Shortly after twelve o'clock the Castle guns announced
the arrival of the royal train within the boundaries of the town,
and immediately all eyes were fixed upon the first portion of line
visible to the several spectators. The pilot-engine then arrived
and the expectations of thousands were raised to their utmost
pitch. Soon afterwards the train with its royal occupants was
discerned on the viaduct leading through the town and the hum of
voices at hand and distant cheering marked the onward progress
of the carriages. As the train advanced the enthusiasm of those
who obtained a view of her m;ijesty was intense, and was
frequently acknowledged by the royal party. On reaching the
north-west extremity of the line an engine was attached to the
train, richly ornamented with banners and evergreens, and they
were drawn towards the centre of the High Level Bridge, where
a spacious platform had been erected for the accommodation of
the Mayor, Recorder, and Corporation of Newcastle ; the Mayor
and Corporation of Gateshead ; the Mayor and Corporation of
Durham ; a detachment of the 63rd Regiment j and a large party
of ladies and gentlemen. A beautiful triumphal arch spanned the
lofty bridge, bearing the motto " Welcome on both sides of the
Tyne," which, with the countless flags on the ships and on each
side of the river, had a very fine effect. On arriving in front of
the platform her majesty was welcomed with loud and repeated
cheering, which the Queen, as well as Prince Albert, graciously
acknowledged. Indeed, the condescending and animated manner
of her majesty delighted all, while her light and beaming counten-
ance, in some measure, reflected the pleasure she experienced at
the warm and joyous reception given to her. Every heart seemed
to be animated with the kindliest sensations, and many a spon-
taneous expression was uttered for the health and prosperity and
happy reign of Queen Victoria, her Royal Consort, and her
beautiful group of children. Sir George Grey having presented
the Mayor of Newcastle (Captain Weatherley), his worship
presented a dutiful address from the ancient town of which he
was the representative. The Mayor of Gateshead (Mr. Hawks)
then offered an address from that town, both documents being
received with marked courtesy. After the royal party had
remained about fifteen minutes on the bridge, surveying the rather
novel appearance which the town presents from that lofty edifice,
the train gradually moved off, amidst deafening cheers from the
assembled crowds and another royal salute from the castle. In
the evening many of the tradesmen in Newcastle illuminated the
front of their premises in honour of the royal visit, and a grand
dinner took place in Gateshead, the Mayor presiding. This was
the first visit of a Queen of England to Newcastle since 1461,
when Margaret of Anjou fled to it after the Battle of Towton.
About one o'clock the Queen reached Darlington, having been
received throughout the county of Durham with unmingled
expressions of attachment and respect. The station was hung
with banners and decorated with evergreens and flowers, and the
royal party were hailed with rapturous acclamations by the
multitude assembled. The Chief Bailiff of Darlington (Mr. F.
Mewburn) was introduced to the Queen and delivered an address
from the inhabitants, and, after several gentlemen had had the
honour of being presented, the train again proceeded southwards,
the royal party sleeping at Derby in the evening, and reaching
Osborne House, Isle of Wight, at half-past four o'clock in the
afternoon of the 29th.