Darlington plaque finds a new home at Beamish

July 17th 2017

A cast iron plaque has been donated to Beamish, courtesy of Thirsk School & 6th Form College and Walter Thompson Contractors Ltd.

The black cast iron plaque bears the wording “Teasdale Bros Ltd, Makers, Darlington” and it’s thought to have originate from a piece of machinery made by the company.

The plaque arrived at the Thirsk School in a roundabout manner. In the 1980s the school owned a furnace capable of melting cast iron.  Older pupils were allowed to bring in cast iron items which were melted down and made into dumbbells.  One pupil brought in the Teasdale Bros plaque which a teacher, recognising its historical importance, saved and mounted on the workshop wall.

And there it remained until refurbishment began recently. Staff from Walter Thompson were stripping out the former workshop and, rather than throw out the plaque, got in touch with Beamish.

Jonathan Kindleysides, Beamish’s Head of Industry, said: “The plaque is of great regional significance and we’re grateful to both Thirsk School and Walter Thompson Ltd for getting in touch and donating it to us.

“Teasdale Brothers was a well-known local firm and their engineering skills and machinery were used in many North East industries.

“We don’t have any immediate plans for the plaque, but I’m certain that before too long we’ll find exactly the right spot for it!”

Teasdale Brothers, founded in the late 1800s by brothers John and Robert, was an iron foundry which made agricultural equipment and beam engines, notably one made in 1904 which is housed in Tees Cottage Pumping Station near Darlington and is still regularly steamed.