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January 2, 2013 5:12 PM
Locomotion number one

locomotion number one

"Many residents of Stockton Borough have told me over the years that they feel that we have failed to 'sell' our area as the birthplace of the railways," said Liberal Democrat Councillor Alan Lewis. "Liberal Democrats in Darlington have succeeded in getting their Council to review what it is doing. Stockton is currently looking at the marketing of Stockton's visitor attraction."

Former Liberal Democrat councillor John Fletcher has therefore sent the Council a note which:

  • Lists many of the reminders which remain locally that the Stockton & Darlington Railway was the first public railway in the World and began here in 1825, and the area's subsequent railway heritage;
  • Argues that combining with neighbouring local authorities would produce a more attractive package for people to come and visit;
  • Suggests that railway heritage should be marketed with Tees Valley's other engineering heritage, such as its bridges - from the medieval to those built in the 21st Century; and
  • Emphasises that there's plenty else to see in Stockton and its surrounding area.
Alan Lewis

Cllr Alan Lewis

Alan added, "We need to use every opportunity to bring tourist spending into our area. In these days of financial stringency, John has suggested a number of relatively inexpensive steps which can be taken, to increase not only potential tourists' awareness of what we offer but also civic pride in our residents - who are the area's best ambassadors when they meet visitors face to face."


Alan Lewis is a Liberal Democrat councillor on Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council for Eaglescliffe Ward, through which the original Stockton & Darlington Railway ran and in which occurred in 1827 the World's first recorded fatality on a passenger railway. He is a member of the Council's Arts, Leisure & Culture Select Committee.

John Fletcher

John Fletcher

John Fletcher, a former Mayor of Stockton, represented the same ward from 1987 until he retired from Stockton Council in 2011.