Our third local heritage film, featuring the Etherley Railway Incline

Today, Thursday 16th December 2021, the Shildon Heritage Alliance CIC are unveiling our third local heritage film, created in partnership with the Etherley Incline Group.

Entitled “Coal By Degrees – Etherley’s Historic Railway Incline” the film is set four miles west of Shildon, but reveals the story of a feature of the Stockton and Darlington Railway that was very important in the origin story of Shildon’s rise to becoming the world’s first industrial railway town. Had a different method and route been chosen to transport that all important coal to the coast, then Shildon may have remained a relatively minor market town for decades longer until its own coal reserve was discovered.

Unlike our previous film about the inclines, this centres on interview footage with two key members of the Etherley Incline Group (EIG), a heritage focused group that have taken on the specialism of curating local knowledge about that particular feature and to watch over its wellbeing. John Raw is a Shildon lad with a particular interest in cricket and out local rail stories generally – he is a familiar face wherever there is a heritage event in the area, and well known for leading guided walks throughout Shildon and Brusselton. Mary Smith is newer to the area but an avid researcher and lover of the history stories of working class people.

The film was shot and edited with animations and music by SHA CIC Director Dave Reynolds on an entirely voluntary basis with no charge to the EIG

We’re pleased to have been able to engage with the Etherley Incline Group on this collaboration and hope that people enjoy hearing about the past, and future, of this important and influential feature in our area’s landscape.

You can watch the film here:


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