The Willington Waggonway Research Programme concluded in March 2018 with a public conference attended by over 100 people. At the conference we shared what we had learned throughout the project and launched two new publications.
These books are now available at Stephenson Railway Museum, Segedunum Roman Fort and Discovery Museum.
Setting the Standard is a collection of research reports which shares the full research and findings of the project team.
With a foreword by Anthony Coulls and an introduction by the project manager and co-ordinator, the book contains the following papers:
The Discovery and Excavation of the Willington Waggonway by Richard Carlton and Alan Williams, The Archaeological Practice
A Railway Rediscovered: The Historical Background to the Excavation of the Willington Waggonway by Les Turnbull, The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers
The Conservation of the Willington Waggonway by Rachael Metcalfe, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
The Use of Ship Timbers in the construction of the Willington Waggonway by Ian Whitehead, Maritime Historian
Willington Waggonway: Geological analysis of the Horse Track by Dr Ian Kille, Northumbrian Earth
Setting the Standard is available for a recommended donation of £10. Please ask a member of staff if you are interested.
The Wooden Rails that Blazed a Trail: Tyneside’s Willington Waggonway is a condensed version of the research papers in the form of a guide book. It shares all the key findings of the research project and is intended for those who would like to know more, but perhaps do not want to read the research reports.
This book explores the history of early wooden railways. It follows the excavation and conservation of the Willington Waggonway and explains how study of the preserved timbers and stones have given new insights into the importance of railways before the steam locomotive.
It can be bought for £4.99 and is also available from the TWAM online shop.
The Willington Waggonway Research Programme would not have been possible without support from project partners including: The Archaeological Practice, National Railway Museum, Beamish Museum, The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council, Northumbrian Earth, Tyne Industrial Archaeology Group, Alan Williams Archaeology, Dr Michael Lewis, Ian Whitehead, York Archaeological Trust and North Tyneside Steam Railway Association.
Funding for the rescue of the Willington Waggonway was provided by the Arts Council England (ACE) PRISM Fund. Further funding was awarded by the ACE Designation Development Fund in order to carry out the research project.