East Bedlington Parish Council is putting together plans to celebrate the community’s heritage.
Coun John Batey said: “In 1819, John Birkinshaw, of the Bedlington Ironworks, laid a waggonway from the Willowbridge Pit, Choppington, down to the staithes on the River Blyth. It’s only two miles, but he used a new kind of rail and helped to create a railway revolution.
“George Stephenson used Bedlington rails on the Stockton to Darlington Railway, but we were there first.
“Our heritage is based on technological innovation and energy. We want to demonstrate pride in what was once achieved, but are also determined to exploit the talent which is evident among our young people to build a future. “
Anyone who wants to contribute ideas and energy to the preparations for celebrating 200 years of engineering success can contact the council in person, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing 01670 828808.
The Eagle was the first locomotive to run on Dutch railways and it was built at Bedlington in 1839. Pictured is a replica built in 1939, on display at the National Railway Museum in Utrecht in the Netherlands.