NZ1164 : Hedley plaque, Woodcroft Road, Wylam

taken 8 years ago, near to Wylam, Northumberland, Great Britain

Hedley plaque, Woodcroft Road, Wylam
Hedley plaque, Woodcroft Road, Wylam
Commemorates the bicentenary (1779-1979) of the birth of William Hedley (1779-1843). Hedley was born in Newburn on 13th July 1779 but educated in Wylam. He became viewer (Manager) of Walbottle Colliery in 1801 before moving to Wylam in 1805 as viewer to Christopher Blackett, owner of Wylam Colliery.

In 1812, he demonstrated by practical experiment that a locomotive with smooth wheels was capable of hauling loaded waggons on smooth rails without slipping (the principle of adhesion). Between 1813 and 1815 he designed and built, with the help of others, several successful steam locomotives for use on the Wylam Waggonway. This was the first regular steam haulage on smooth rails. Two Wylam engines 'Puffing Billy' and 'Wylam Dilly' are now among the oldest preserved locomotives.

Between 1805 and 1827, Hedley lived in a house on or near this site. He left Wylam in 1828 becoming a coal-owner and lessee of collieries in County Durham. He also owned four ships. In 1837, he moved to Burnhopeside Hall where he died on 9th January 1843 and was buried at Newburn NZ1665 : The Hedley family gravestones, St. Michael & All Angels, Newburn

Hedley's engines remained at work at Wylam until after his death; 'Puffing Billy' NZ1066 : 'Puffing Billy' - Welcome to Wylam road sign is now on display in the Science Museum in London, and 'Wylam Dilly' at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh NT2573 : National Museum of Scotland - Wylam Dilly
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NZ1164, 208 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 24 February, 2013   (more nearby)
Thursday, 14 March, 2013
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Village, Rural settlement  Railways  People, Events 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 1132 6455 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:58.5261N 1:49.4810W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 1132 6455
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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