A building used to haul coal wagons on one of George Stephenson’s railways is to be restored.
The Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust has appointed Historic Property Restoration, based in South Shields, to carry out conservation and restoration work to the Black Fell Hauler House on the Bowes Railway.
The Hauler House was an integral part of a rope haulage system which controlled the passage of coal wagons from collieries in Kibblesworth, Marley Hill, Byermoor, Burnopfield and Dipton down to staithes at Jarrow on the River Tyne.
George Stephenson oversaw the construction of the railway on behalf of Lord Ravensworth, a local colliery owner, but the Hauler House was a later addition built in 1913 as part of a general upgrading.
The railway, part of the Bowes Railway, closed in the 1970s, and since then time has taken its toll and the Hauler House, along with its surviving machinery, has suffered gradual decay despite the hard work of the Bowes Railway Company and enthusiastic volunteers.
It is the second project won by Historic Property Restoration for the Bowes Railway.
Historic Property Restoration managing director John Gibson said: “It is very satisfying to be working on a second project on the Bowes Railway for the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust especially in a year which celebrates 200 years since George Stephenson’s first railway engine Blucher pulled coal wagons at Killingworth Colliery. He was overseer on this rope system railway and went on with his son Robert to open the world’s first railway engineering company in Newcastle.”
The work to the Hauler House, which will take 16 weeks to complete, will include rebuilding and repointing the brickwork, new access stairs, removal of graffiti, stabilisation of the roof structure, new windows and security doors and mechanical and electrical service installations.