Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Teesside’s Sailing Coaches (NZ452183)

During 1845-6, ex-sailor, Joseph Taylor, struck upon the idea of using sails as a means of propulsion for railway carriages. 

Taylor ran a provisions shop in Middlesbrough near to the town’s first railway station.  In the absence of a Sunday rail service, he used to harness a horse to a railway carriage and haul his family to their place of worship – the Society of Friends Chapel – down the line to South Stockton (the northern end of the modern-day Thornaby), a distance of four miles. 

However, when the climatic conditions allowed, he was seen to dispose of the horse and affix a mast and lug sail to the carriage and glide gracefully into South Stockton at a brisk eight knots an hour.

[adapted from an article which appeared in The Monthly Chronicle of North-Country Lore & Legend of August 1891]

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