The Lady of Bilsdale

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The Lady of Bilsdale is mentioned in Tom Scott Burns 1993 book “Cleveland Hills” where it is described as the ‘enigmatic face of a lady carved on a rock wall who gazes eternally down into Bilsdale’.

I have been unable to find any other references to the carvings existence, so the phrase ‘enigmatic’ is certainly true. For those unable to access the remote sandstone quarry above Hasty Bank I have made a 3D scan of the carving.

Lady of Bilsdale by Chris Twigg on Sketchfab

Fighting Cocks Railway Station

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Thank you to Michael Thompson for this contribution.

Officially opened in c1830 as Middleton and Dinsdale station, although it had been an unofficial stop since 1825 being renamed to Fighting Cocks in 1866. The station closed to passengers in 1887. This was due to a new line being constructed between Bank Top Station (Darlington) and Oak Tree Junction, east of Fighting Cocks. The original 1825 line was still used as a bypass when work was required on the new line. Fighting Cocks station closed completely in 1964.

The track bed is now a public footpath and off road cycleway. The platform and station buildings still exist as a private dwelling. Also still in existence is the Station Masters House complete with S&D Railway 1825 plaque.

The area gets it’s name from the then land owner Squire Henry Cocks who died in 1894. The family emblem was three cockerels fighting.

As the station is now a private residence will anyone visiting the site kindly respect the owners privacy.

Old track bed at Fighting Cocks. The station building can just be seen behind the bushes.

The old Station Masters House.

Detail of the S&D Railway 1825 plaque.

All the above photo’s by Michael Thompson.

Fighting Cocks Railway Station (Illustrated London News 1875)

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Ordnance Survey 1896 25″ to 1 mile.

Swinsty Cross

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This remote cross is a memorial to Probationary Flight Officer Francis Holt Yates Titcomb of the Royal Naval Air Service.

Memorial cross for Probationary Flight Officer Francis Titcomb

Flying a Maurice Farman Longhorn, he took off from the RNAS training airfield at Redcar on his first solo flight on 15 April 1917. He crashed after encountered snow clouds over the moors and died aged 19.

He is buried in Brompton Cemetery in London

Memorial cross for Probationary Flight Officer Francis Titcomb

The cross was erected by Mr J K Foster JP of Egton Manor in 1929 and sculpted by Mr J.W. Hill of Whitby.

Memorial cross for Probationary Flight Officer Francis Titcomb

Based on the design of a wayside cross near Vittel in the Vosges designed by Sir E L Lutyens

Egton Cross

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The cross in Egton was erected in 1912 in memory of John Foster.

Egton Cross

The Foster family were owners of Black Dyke Mills in Queensbury, Bradford, West Yorkshire which manufactured worsted and mohair fabric. They purchased the Egton Estate in 1869 as a sporting estate.

Egton Cross

Mr. John Foster died on Feb. 8th 1910 aged 78, his funeral took place at Egton on February 12th 1910.

Greatham Railway Station

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I’ve been taking a short break from Hidden Teesside, but I return with a kind contribution from Michael Thompson.

Greatham Railway Station was opened on 10 February 1841 as a branch of the Clarence Railway, from Billingham to Hartlepool. The station finally closed on 24 November 1991. Apart from serving the residents of Greatham the station also served as a freight station for the nearby salt works.

(Info – Wikipedia: Greatham Railway Station)

Greatham Station looking east towards Hartlepool (Michael Thompson)

Although the station has now been deleted from the Ordnance Survey maps the road from Greatham to the station is still called Station Road.

Brusselton Incline

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The Brusselton Incline opened in 1825 and consisted of a stationary engine to haul coal wagons 1.5 miles over a hill which was too steep for the early steam engines of the day.

Brusselton Incline
Stone sleepers on the incline

By 1842 the Shildon Tunnel went under the hill making the incline obsolete, it ceased operation in the 1880s.

Brusselton Incline Engine House
Engine House

The Enginemans House carries a “H1” Stockton and Darlington Railway ownership plaque

Brusselton Incline Enginemans House
Enginemans House

The Brusselton Incline Group was formed in 2014 to carry our restoration and maintenance of the site.