World Heritage Bid Conference


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Friends of The Stockton & Darlington Railway
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Conference June 16th -17th 2015

Aims of the Conference

In 2025, the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway will be upon us and there will undoubtedly be celebrations organised by local councils to commemorate this significant milestone.  The Friends of the Stockton and Darlington Railway consider that it would add weight to these celebrations if the line, as envisaged in the 1823 Act of Parliament, together with associated sites and buildings were to be awarded World Heritage Status – in keeping with its importance as a key aspect of the birth of the railways.

Achieving such a status will not be easy – indeed, when this was tried before it ended in failure -  as competition for the honour is fierce and only awarded to sites of national and international importance.  The advice we have been given suggests that one application, supported by relevant  local authorities (County, Town and Parish), has much more chance of success than a number of separate proposals  made in relation to individual sections of the line. 

The conference is, therefore, intended to bring together representatives from as many interested parties as possible, including heritage groups, to hear the case for a joint bid for World Heritage Status.  The intention is to follow this up by creating a committee whose objective would be to take the bid forward, in order to achieve World Heritage Status in time for the 2025 celebrations.

Conference Team

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Alan McNab:

Alan worked in human resources for two large County Councils and in education administration after graduating with a BA (Honours) degree in Public Administration.  Alan is a Darlington Borough Councillor, Vice Chair of a Secondary Academy and Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer for a Parish Council in Darlington.  Alan has been a school governor at primary and secondary schools for over 20 years.  Alan’s particular interests are railway heritage, education and employment opportunities for young people and adults.

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Trish Pemberton:

Trish became a history and politics teacher after receiving her Masters from Cambridge University. She is a County Councillor for Shildon and Dene Valley and Durham County Council Cabinet Support member for Regeneration and Economic Development. Trish is the Shildon Town Council representative to "Locomotion". Her particular interests are regeneration, heritage, health and opportunities for young people.

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Niall Hammond:

Niall is an independent Heritage Consultant based in County Durham but working across the UK. He was formerly the County Archaeologist for Durham and the Senior Historic Buildings Advisor at the Ministry of Defence. He is a member of the Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for the North East and sits on the National Trust’s Regional Advisory Board and National Archaeology Panel. He is a passionate believer in the value of heritage to the quality of people's lives, the economy and making the region special and distinctive.

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John Wilson:

John is our webmaster and IT consultant. He is one of only about 30 people world wide to be awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award for presentation software. Every year since 2007 he has been one of the organisers of the prestigious Presentation Summit Conference in a variety of cities in the USA including Phoenix, San Diego, Atlanta and Austin.


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