Christopher Tennant, English MP and entrepreneur, c 1830.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Watercolour of the Stockton entrepreneur, Christopher Tennant (d 1839). Tennant wanted to build a direct railway line from his lime kilns at Thickley to Stockton. Despite opposition from the owners of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, he finally achieved this by gaining an Act of Parliament for The Great North of England Clarence and Hartlepool Junction Railway in 1829. The Clarence Railway, named after the Duke of Clarence (later William IV), linked Durham coal mines with coal staithes on the River Tees. Although the line was completed in 1834, its proposed branchlines never materialised and it consequently had little direct acces to the coalfields. Continuing opposition from the S&DR meant that the railway became unviable and Tennant eventually sold it.