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INAUGURATION OF THE STEPHENSONU…

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INAUGURATION OF THE STEPHENSONU MEMORIAL. On Thursday a memorial statue of George Stephenson, the father of our railway system, was inaugurated with j an imposing ceremonial at Newcastle-on-Tviys; From noon on Thursday the day was observed as a holiday, and all the shops were closed. Banners hung across the principal streets and from the windows of many of the houses. Soon after one o'clock a procession started, and passed through the principal streets to the site of the statue. It included the members of the committee, the mayor (Mr. Joseph Armstrong), and the corporation, preceded by macemen and swordbearers; Lord Ravens- worth, ;Mr. J. C. Lough, the sculptor, and Mr. G. R.. Stephenson, nephew of George Stephenson, and head of the present firm of Stephenson and Co. To these gentle- men followed the members of the institutions of civil, mechanical, and mining engineers; the committees of the literary and mechanics' institutions; the Members-of Parliament for the district, the foreign consuls, the authorities connected with the railways running through Newcastle-on-Tyne, the River Tyne commissioners, the brethren of the Trinity House, and the mayors of the neighbouring boroughs. Then followed a long array of workpeople of the foundries and other large establish- ments of the district, bearing aloft banners with in- scriptions of honour to the name of Stephenson. The members of the friendly societies also took part in the procession. The site of the memorial is an open space at the junc- tion of Neville-street and Westgate-street, and is close to the Central Railway Station. A large space around it was inclosed with pallisading, and was kept by the Newcastle-on-Tyne Rifle and Artillery Volunteer?, and the 41st Regiment, under the command of Lieut. Colonel Sir John Fife. The head of the procession, accompanied by a band of music, reached the platform, in front of the draped memorial, about two o'clock. Among the gentle- men who were assembled on the platform were Lord Ravensworth, the Mayor of Newcastle, the Rev. Clement Moody (the vicar); Sir W. James, Bart.; Sir W. Arm- strong, Sir M. W. Ridley, M. P.; the Right Hon. T. E. Headlam, M.P.; Messrs. H. Pease. M.P.; R. Ingham, M.P.; W. Hutt, M..P.; R. Hodgson, M.P.; G. R. Stevenson, J. C. Laugh, and N. Wood. Soon after two o'clock the signal was given by the sound of the bugle for the drapery to be removed from the memorial, and the statue was displayed to the public gaze, amid enthusiastic cheers. The statue of Stephenson is of bronze, and represents him standing. An unusually graceful' effect is given to the dress by the addi- tion of the Northumbrian plaid, which Stephenson was accustomed to wear. Thoss who knew the great engineer says that the statue is an admirable likeness. The right hand is laid upon the breast, and the left rests upon a scroti supposed to contain a map or plan. The figure is lift, high, and stands upon a massive stone pedestal, the total height of the statue from the ground being 30ft. At each corner of the pedestal is a seated bronze figure—the lour figures being intended to typify Stephenson's life. One is a blacksmith, naked to the waist, leaning against an anvil and grasping an hammer. At the south-west corner a pitman holds in his hand the old safety lamp. The next represents a platelayer, with a model of Stephenson's fish-bellied rail; and the fourth is an engine driver, leaning on a model of a locomotive. The memorial has been raised by subscription, at a cost of £ 5,000. When the statue was uncovered the military bands played the National Anthem, and the vicar having offered up a prayer, Lord Ravensworth said it had been his lot more than once to address large assemblies of-his fellow countrymen, but he had never srood before an audience more calcu- lated to inspire sentiments of respect for the British character than that before which he then stood. That was a proud day for Newcastle-on-Tyne, and, indeed, its environs, and for the whole of the northern counties. It was a day which would also be regarded with interest by the professors of science, and by the free workers in the great mine of national and universal industry all over the world (applause). What was it they saw be- fore them ? An assemblage of free people, not to be surpassed in the world in respect to intelligence, and the representatives of the corporations and the municipal governments of all those great ioci of industry which belonged to that populous and industrious neighbour- hood. There were also among them those brave men who had enrolled themselves as volunteers for the defence of their country, if their services in such a work should ever be needed (applause). Why were all those classes assembled ? They were not come to pay a mark of respect to a. crowned monarch, nor to a brave and accomplished general or admiral who had led the armies and fleets of this country to victory. The honour they had come to give was not even to a successful and popular statesman, who, amid the contests of a free Parliament, had led his party to victory, and had wielded at will that fierce democracy which sometimes reigned within the walls of our House of Commons (applause). It was-to a nobler object than any of those he had enumerated that they had assembled to pay honour and respect-to one who was born in the cottage of the poor man, whose early life was one continued struggle of laborious industry, and of the scheming of a genius which Stephenson felt he had within himself, against all the disadvantages of poverty. By the force of his own genius, by his own industry, by his good moral conduct, his frugality, and, his honesty, un- aided by the light of science, unacquainted even with the very rudiments of the commonest education, George Stephenson carried out his own views, in the midst of every adverse circumstance, until he raised him- self to the renown of which they were all witnesses (applause). Truly it might be said that he who in after life was enabled to found schools, to rear institutions for the benefit of the working classes, and to build a church for the religious welfare of his poorer friends, sprang from an origin as low, or even lower, than that whom he (Lord Ravensworth) had the pleasure of addressing (applause). The noble lord then proceeded at some length to describe the career of Stephenson, his struggles and triumphs; and concluded by handing over the memorial to the corporation of Newcastle-on- Tyne. The committee and other officials returned to the Town-hall, where a short repast had been provided. The French Consul was accompanied on the route by Lord Ravensworth and John Clayton, Esq., and, on entering the Mayor's Chamber, was received with cheering and cries of "Vive l'Emp«reur!" The committee and other bodies then separated, the consular body accompanying the French Consul to his residence, Etdon-square, During the remainder of the day, large numbers of strangers from a distance inspected the varioas objects of interest in the town. We must not omit to mention that Mr. Thos. Burr e) I, the person who dissuaded Stephenson, in early life, from emigrating to America, witnessed the inauguration of the monument to his memory.

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