Posts tagged Railways (24)
Nos 11 to 20
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1 2 3
Frank Bridge
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Britain’s Best Gift to India
Samuel Smiles reminds us that until we brought the railways to India, we had little to boast about as an imperial power.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

WHEN Edmund Burke, in 1783, arraigned the British Government for their neglect of India, he said: “England has built no bridges, made no high roads, cut no navigations, dug out no reservoirs... Were we to be driven out of India this day, nothing would remain to tell that it had been possessed, during the inglorious period of our dominion, by anything better than the ourang-outang or the tiger.” But that reproach no longer exists.

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No. 11
George Frideric Handel
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
India’s First Railway
The opening of the Bombay to Thane line was the real beginning of British India.

AT 3.30pm on April 16th, 1853, as the band played ‘God Save the Queen’, fourteen railway carriages carrying four hundred VIPs jolted, and left Bombay for Thane. It was the opening day of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, India’s first passenger-carrying line, and ahead were twenty-one miles of 5'6" track, which the triple-headed train gobbled up in forty-five minutes.

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No. 12
Charles Villiers Stanford
Discovery and Invention
King William IV (1830-1837)
Ireland’s First Railway
The Dublin to Dun Laoghaire line opened in 1834, and proved a remarkable testimony to the speed of technological progress.

THE first railway in Ireland was the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, which opened on 9th October 1834 with a train of eight carriages drawn by the steam locomotive ‘Hibernia’, a 2-2-0 designed by Richard Roberts of Manchester.

The line was paid for by Dublin businessmen, keen to transport goods in bulk between the city and the port at Kingstown, better known today as Dun Laoghaire.

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No. 13
2 two-part story
Sir Hubert Parry
Discovery and Invention
Sir Sandford Fleming
What George Stephenson was to the railways of England, Sandford Fleming was to the railways of Canada.

IN 1845, eighteen-year-old Sandford Fleming left home in Kirkcaldy for colonial Canada. He qualified as a surveyor, and kept busy with engineering work on the railways and with graphic design: his threepenny postage stamp was Canada’s very first, and it made the industrious beaver one of Canada’s enduring symbols.

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No. 14
2 two-part story
Alice Mary Smith
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The London and Birmingham Railway
The textile moguls of Manchester and Liverpool engaged the Stephensons to complete their link to the capital.

THE London and Birmingham Railway opened on September 17th, 1838, connecting Euston to Curzon Street via Rugby and Coventry in five and a half hours. At Curzon Street, passengers could change to the Grand Junction Railway for Manchester and Liverpool, whose cotton-merchants and mill-owners had paid for the link to the capital.

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No. 15
Ignaz Moscheles
Discovery and Invention
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Burning Daylight
George Stephenson argued that his steam engines were solar-powered.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

ONE Sunday, when the party had just returned from church, they were standing together on the terrace near the Hall, and observed in the distance a railway-train flashing along, tossing behind its long white plume of steam. “Now, Buckland,” said Stephenson, “Can you tell me what is the power that is driving that train?”

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No. 16
John Hebden
Discovery and Invention
The Hat that Changed the World
Young William’s hat caught the eye of Matthew Boulton, and the world was never the same again.

IN 1777, after walking there all the way from Scotland in search of work, twenty-three-year-old William Murdoch sat in the offices of the engineering firm of Boulton and Watt in Smethwick, fiddling nervously with his hat.

Matthew Boulton had to disappoint William, as the firm was not hiring, but to ease the awkwardness remarked on the hat.

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No. 17
John Hebden
Discovery and Invention
The Genius Next Door
William Murdoch’s experiments with steam traction impressed his next-door neighbour, with world-changing results.

AS a boy, William Murdoch built a contraption which was the talk of his hometown of Lugar in Ayrshire: the ‘wooden horse’, a tricycle propelled by handcranks, in which he would ride the two miles to Crumnock.

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No. 18
2 two-part story
John Field
Discovery and Invention
King George IV (1820-1830)
The Stockton and Darlington Railway
George Stephenson and his son Robert created the world’s first passenger railway.

THE Stockton and Darlington Railway is celebrated as the first public railway for fare-paying passengers, and over 30,000 travelled the line in twelve months from July 1826. But their single, horse-drawn carriages on rails (fare one-and-six) were not the line’s real business.

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No. 19
Ignaz Moscheles
Discovery and Invention
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Gift of the Gab
There was one form of power that self-taught engineering genius George Stephenson never harnessed.

ONE evening, when staying with Sir Robert Peel at his country house in Derbyshire, Stephenson fell into animated conversation with William Buckland, the eccentric geologist and palaeontologist, about the formation of coal.

Buckland, a veteran debater, loftily dismissed Stephenson’s theories, but the tongue-tied engineer was certain he was right.

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No. 20
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Polywords (185)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grey
Added on Thursday February 15th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
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Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
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Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
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A word search game with a dash of strategy.

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From our Archive
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
It is not educational institutions and methods that advance science or the arts, but people.
By Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
Rudyard Kipling’s poem about St Wilfrid’s chaplain and an unusual Christmas congregation.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Oliver was elected as the unwilling spokesman for all the hungry children.
Based on ‘The Lives of the Desert Fathers’
(4th century)
A monk of the Egyptian desert helped a desperate mother, and was richly rewarded.
Baird’s inventions didn’t always work as well as his televisions.

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India (14)
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Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Nape’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘cleansing bar’ (4 letters), and ‘Doncaster horse-race’ (2,5 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with LONG and finish with JUMP.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.