Titles available include:

The Railway Revolution: A Study of the Early Railways of the Great Northern Coalfield 1605-1830 by Les Turnbull

The book covers the development of the early railways and includes over 160 illustrations, many taken from the collections held here at the Common Room.  Les Turnbull is a recognised authority on Early Railways and the book has received many favourable reviews in the specialist press.
£15.00  ISBN: 9780993115158
172 pages.  Newcastle: North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, 2019.


The Early Railways of the Derwent Valley by Les Turnbull

The Derwent Valley is rich in industrial archaeology of international importance and the remains of the early railways which served the Great Northern Coalfield are amongst its most valuable resources.  More than two hundred years before George Stephenson built the Stockton and Darlington Railway, Lady Elizabeth Bowes and her partner Lady Jane Clavering opened a waggonway in the valley to transport their coal to market.  The impressive remains of the huge embankment which carried their railway across Snipes Dene can be seen near Whickham Golf Course.  The book explores the history of these early railways which were part of a network serving the largest coalfield in the world during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

A distinct portion of the book will describe the Risemoor Waggonway. This 18th century creation ran from staiths at Stella beside the Runhead Pub in Ryton, past the grounds of Prudhoe Hospital before serving the pits of Mickley Moor and with an extension to the Tyne/Derwent watershed at Airey Hill Farm, Whittonstall. Much of the route is walkable and it includes another range of impressive features including the world’s oldest level crossing.
£10.00 ISBN 978-0993115134
Newcastle: North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, 2017.


The World of William Brown by Les Turnbull

“This is the story of the other ‘Capability Brown’, not Lancelot of Kirkharle, the famous landscape gardener, but William of Throckley, the forgotten engineer.  They were contemporaries who undoubtedly knew one another and they may have been related; they worked for the same clients, one developing the estate above ground, the other exploiting the riches below.  William was known as the ‘father of the coal trade’ and recognised as an authority on railways and steam engines.  He played a major part in the development of the Great Northern Coalfield in the mid eighteenth century.”
£15.00  ISBN 978-0-9931151-1-0
124 pages.  Newcastle: North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, 2016.


A Celebration of our Mining Heritage: a souvenir publication to commemorate the bicentenary of the disaster at the Heaton Main Colliery in 1815 by Les Turnbull

“This book celebrates the heritage of one mining royalty but the history of Heaton represents in many ways the story of the Great Northern Coalfield as a whole.  The miner’s struggle against the earth’s geology to win the coal brought mental stress, physical hardship, severe injury and even death; but it also brought riches to the owners of the mineral rights and mines together with a greatly enhanced standard of living to the workers in both the pits, the farms and the service industries.  This is a story of great ambition and enterprise, innovation and technical skill, selfish greed and skulduggery, loyalty and self sacrifice.  The full spectrum of human emotions is to be found in the history of Heaton and the coalfield at large.  This is the heritage of Northumberland and Durham which deserves to be celebrated.”
£10.00   ISBN 978-0-9561248-2-1
92 pages.  Chapman Research Publishing, 2015.


Tom Lamb: biography of a mining artist by Peter Norton

Tom Lamb started work as a miner at the age of fourteen in 1942 at Craghead Colliery in County Durham.  He worked in the Busty Pit for 27 years and throughout that period he sketched his fellow miners at work.  His sketchbooks have been the basis for many of his realistic paintings, depicting the harsh conditions underground with the constant fear of roof-falls, gas explosions and water inrushes.
£10.00.  ISBN 978-0-9931151-0-3
84 pages. Newcastle: North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, 2014.


Coals from Newcastle by Les Turnbull

This is an introduction to the history and industrial archaeology of the Great Northern Coalfield and is illustrated with some of the rare maps and engravings from the Mining Institute.  This book, written for the general public, is essential reading for all who are interested in the region.  Lost colliery villages, coal mines and railways are re-discovered in the pages of this book.
£10.95.  ISBN 978-0-9561248-0-7
142 pages (A4 landscape).  Chapman Research Publishing, 2009.


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