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Keep up to date with all the latest blog posts from Tees Valley Museums.

picture showing North Road Station - now Darlington Railway Museums - with deep snow on the ground and carriages lined up outside ready to drop of and pick up passengers.

Ghost Stories at the Railway Station

For Halloween we are looking at ghost stories from one of our most haunted museums – Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum. The museum is housed in the original North Road Station, built in 1842 on the Stockton and Darlington Railway line. It is often featured on the UKs most haunted railway stations. So, what is it about this building that is so haunting?

Box structured cap in navy with two silver bands and the new British railways logo on the front also in silver.

British Railway Uniforms

To celebrate London Fashion Week we are highlighting some of the stories in our collections. Next up we are looking at railway uniforms.

When you think of fashion, railways might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But for a short time in the 1960s, British Railways was as ‘on trend’ as any major fashion label. Well, maybe.

Front of the liberty dress. the dress has loose fitting front panels with lace trim and red velvet frills around the shoulders.

The Liberty Dress

To celebrate London Fashion Week we are highlighting some of the stories in our collections. To kick us off we are looking at the Victorian obsession with tightlacing and the Liberty Dress that fought back against this movement.

In the late Victorian period, the phenomenon known as tightlacing began to rise in popularity, as Victorian women became determined that they and their daughters could be pulled into a corset and tightly laced down to a 16 or 18 inch waist.

The Life and Sketches of Joseph Parrott

Joseph Parrott’s life was filled with the pursuit of knowledge, in any subject which took his interest, and the desire to share that knowledge with those around him. He also completed many highly detailed sketches of Stockton, creating a snapshot of the town during the late Victorian period.

A little girl stands facing the camera with torso up in view. She is holding onto an iron gate with one hand and the other is on her waist. She is wearing a white ruffled dress with large collar and puffed sleeves at the wrist. Her dark hair goes behind her back and she wears a large white bonnet turned upwards with layers of ruffles.

Children’s Clothing

In this blog we are looking into the children’s clothing we hold in our collections. Most of the clothing we keep in our museums covers the last 200 years.

Redcar and Saltburn in Postcards

In Kirkleatham Museum’s collection there are holiday postcards of Redcar and Saltburn, collected when the towns were at their height as tourist destinations.


ICI was one of the most well-known businesses in the Tees Valley, being a large producer of chemicals, and the Billingham site also had a part to play in the Second World War.

Charles Garnett and Sons

Charles Garnett was a trained grocer who travelled to Middlesbrough in the 1890s to set up his own business. While not a household name, Garnett and Sons was nonetheless a successful business in its time and supplied drinks and confectionary to the people of the Tees Valley.

Head and shoulders picture of Ivy Close. She has a full face lit with light, looking upwards. She has a scarf over her full hairstyle coming down around her neck. She has her arms posed artistically with one on her head scarf the other on her chest

Ivy Close

Ivy Close was a Stockton born actress who was a big name in the early silent movie era.

Wren Brothers

In 1871 three brothers, Harry Horace Wren, Edmund Cecil Wren and Charles Herbert Wren, founded Wren Brothers, a manufacturing company which specialised in corn flour milling and brewing drinks and condiments. The company remained successful until its closure in the 1970s.

Ambrotype photograph of a young boy sitting with his hands clasped on his lap. Hes wearing a sailor type hat and suite. Photograph is black and white glass negative in gold frame

Ambrotype Photographs

Ambrotype is a type of early photography that was popular in the 1850s and 60s. Some lovely examples of Ambrotype photographs can be found in the collection at Preston Park Museum and Grounds.

Jack Taylor Cycles

Jack Taylor and his brothers, Ken and Norman, were cycling enthusiasts who took their passion for cycling to a new level, becoming makers of bicycles which were not only popular in Stockton but also around the world.