This is a fun bespoke Christmas Bauble made just for us. It features the Stockton & Darlington Railway at Skerne Bridge in Darlington about 1827. The design shows Locomotion No.1 hauling waggons over Skerne Bridge with a horse drawn passenger coach to the rear. The building to one side is the Merchandising Station of 1826-7. The bauble is high quality and weighty being made of ceramic. It has been hand dipped in blue paint then laser etched with the design.The hanging thread is of stripey cotton and easy to hang over your Christmas tree branch without getting twisty! It is packaged in its own little black card box.
The Skerne Bridge was going to be designed and built By George Stephenson using ironwork, but his other railway bridge further west (The Gaunless Bridge) had suffered problems in bad weather, the price of iron had rocketed and so confidence was low.
The S&DR decided to bring in Ignatius Bonomi instead to design the bridge. He was the County Architect in Durham and designed the bridge in stone.
The bridge needed some additional support within a short space of time, but remains in use today; it even featured on the British £5 note in the 1990s. It is the world’s oldest continuously operated railway bridge. You can read more about it here in this article by Brendan Boyle.