Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Artist Capturing the Drama and Pride of Railway History

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Artist Capturing the Drama and Pride of Railway History

Article excerpt


PRIDE in the region's pioneering railways role prompted 10,000 people to turn out for a ceremony in Newcastle 150 years ago this month.

The occasion was the inauguration of the bronze statue to North East railway great George Stephenson, sited near the recently-completed Central Station.

The statue, which was given the restoration treatment earlier this year, had been paid for by public subscription.

Workers from the Stephenson locomotive works in South Street behind the station, along with those from the North Eastern Railway Company and factories across the area, took part in a procession with banners and flags.

They were there partly because they were keenly aware of the North East's key part in the society-changing development of the railways, with South Street providing locomotives for countries throughout the world.

Today Steven Ward Fox shares this sense of pride in the region's railway heritage and is doing his bit to ensure that it is not forgotten.

Railway artist Steven, 42, lives in Esh Winning in County Durham and captures the beauty and drama of steam locomotives.

An associate member of the Guild of Railway Artists, he finds his subjects at heritage railway locations.

In the North East, heritage and railway history venues include the Tanfield and Bowes railways on the edge of Gateshead, the Weardale Railway, Beamish Museum, the Stephenson Railway Museum in North Tyneside and Locomotion at Shildon in County Durham.

An exhibition of Steven's work opens on November 17 and there was only ever one location - the 1840s, grade II-star listed Monkwearmouth Station Museum in Sunderland.

The display will run until March 3 next year.

Steven's father, Denis, spent 44 years working as an art teacher, latterly at Emmanuel College in Gateshead and the family lived at Newton Hall in Durham.

Steven's passion for railways began as a boy during stays with his grandmother who lived in Seaham.

"I was about five and my grandmother would walk me down to the railway sidings next to Railway Street, where the cable-drawn wagons were left ready to be hauled by diesel locomotives down to the docks for the coal to be loaded on to ships," says Steven. …

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