Head of Steam launches appeal to help shape Railway Cottage Homes exhibition

The Head of Steam is looking for members of the public to help shape a special exhibition to celebrate the centenary of the formation of the North Eastern Railway Cottage Homes and Benefit Fund.

The Head of Steam is looking for members of the public to help shape a special exhibition to celebrate the centenary of the formation of the North Eastern Railway Cottage Homes and Benefit Fund.

Staff at the the Darlington Railway Museum are hoping to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the fund with a look at its history, including stories from those with connections to the cottages.

The team is keen to hear from any members of the public who lived, or are currently living in North Eastern railway cottage homes or similar railway housing.

The stories and memories gathered will help shape the exhibition, to open at the museum in September.

The North Eastern Railway Cottage Homes and Benefit Fund was set up in 1919 to provide suitable housing for railwaymen who were disabled during the First World War or railway staff who had to retire due to age or ill-health.

Allowances were also awarded for railwaymen and their dependants suffering from prolonged illness or other difficult circumstances.

The fund was paid for by a large grant from Lady Granger in memory of her brother Tempest Anderson, who was a railway surgeon, and regular contributions from more than 7,000 railway employees.

Leona White-Hannant, Head of Steam’s manager curator, said: “Hundreds of railwaymen and their families would have lived in the railway cottages across the region and benefited from the support offered by the fund over the years.

“We’d love to hear from anyone who may have lived in the cottages – or still does – and can share their stories, photographs and tales of life in the cottages.”

Anyone who would like to share any stories about living in a railway cottage home can email headofsteam@darlington.gov.uk or call the reception on 01325 405060.

Source: Darlington Borough Council