Origins The opening of a new First School in Wylam in 1974 created an opportunity by 1976 for the County Council to redevelop the former school, known today as the Falcon Centre, to house a new Library and to allow Wylam Parish Council to create a small museum in one of the old classrooms.
It took a few years, considerable voluntary effort and the support of both the County and District Councils before the dream became reality. Particularly important was the generosity of many local residents and others, who either donated or loaned various railway artefacts and memorabilia to enhance the displays. Wylam Railway Museum was finally opened on 9 June 1981 by Dr John Coiley, Keeper of the National Railway Museum, the event coinciding with celebrations in the village to mark the bicentenary of the birth, in Wylam, of George Stephenson, often referred to as the “Father of Railways”.
Today The Museum displays focus on the importance of Wylam and its several local railway pioneers, including George Stephenson, Timothy Hackworth and William Hedley, whose work was so significant in the early development of railways. Also represented are the stories of the old waggonway that enabled coal to be transported from Wylam to the staithes further down the River Tyne and the Newcastle to Carlisle Railway, on which Wylam station is one of the oldest stations in the world to be still in use. The former North Wylam line and station, which closed in 1968, are also illustrated.
In 2013, the Museum was enhanced by the addition of two one-twelfth scale “working models” of two of the earliest locomotives, the “Puffing Billy” and the “Wylam Dilly”. These models were commissioned by Wylam Parish Council following a very generous bequest for the purpose and they add immensely to the attraction of this small but interesting Museum.
The proximity of Stephenson's Cottage (National Trust) makes the possibility of combining visits to these two places of interest even more worthwhile for individuals, families or school groups, the latter by prior arrangement.
Entry to the Museum is free and is available when the Library is open:
- Tuesdays 1.00 to 6.00pm
- Thursdays 1.00 to 6.00pm
- Saturdays 9.00am to 12 noon
Wylam Railway Museum
The Falcon Centre
Wylam Parish Council 01661 852498
Wylam Library 01661 852174