Graham Trust mentions the obstacles George Stephenson faced when surveying the land

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 5th August 2011 by Liam Physick

Graham Trust mentions how, when George Stephenson was surveying the land to construct the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, he had to cope with blockades, threats and even gunshots, not to mention a bizarre propaganda campaign

Interviewee: Graham Trust

Interviewee Gender: Male

Date of Interview: 16th November 2010

Interview Transcript

Graham: I’ll just read you something which, which Stephenson was, he had to survey the land between Liverpool and Manchester when he became the Railway’s engineer in 1824, and he . . . let’s have a look at it . . . yeah . . . so, in October 1824, Stephenson complained to his friend, Joseph Pease, about his – and this is a quotation – his “sad work. The ground is blockaded on every side to prevent us getting on with the survey. We are to have a grand field day next week. Lord Sefton says he will have 100 men against us”, and he had to press on in, in, in, in the, in the face of those intimidating . . . quite often he was surveying this land at night, and he was fired at and threatened, but he, he got on with that, and . . .

Jenny: Is that in a letter to the . . . ?

Graham: That is in a letter which is . . . well I got it from a book called George Stephenson – The Engineer and His Letters . . .

Jenny: Oh, yeah.

Graham: . . . by W O Skeat. Let’s have a look . . . and there was a propaganda campaign against the locomotive as well, which was described to farmers as “a most frightful machine emitting a breath as poisonous as the fabled dragon of old” (Jenny laughs) and they were told that if a bird flew over the district where one of these machines passed, it would inevitably drop down dead.

Tagged under: liverpool and manchester railway, george stephenson, surveying

Categorised under: The Station & Railway Pioneers

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