Monday, 9 November 2009


Saturday, 7 November, was the 204th birthday of perhaps the one person who, more than anyone else, is responsible for the growth of Penkridge to what it is today. (Maybe Lord Hatherton also must also take some responsbility/credit for this).

For it was Thomas Brassey who, in 1837 finished building the Penkridge Railway Viaduct and 10 miles of track on the Grand Junction Railway. As a young Engineer, the viaduct was his very first contract - he went on to become the man responsible for building more railways in the world than any other person.

Eighteen people met at Hatherton House Country Hotel on Saturday last, to celebrate his life and work. Three of his descendants were also present. After a lunch and presentations, we walked the few yards past the Health Centre, down by the River Penk, and stopped for a while under the 7 arches where "Thomas Brassey" (alias John Whittingham), said a few words about his first project here - which is now one of Penkridge's most important buildings - across which thousands of people travel every week and which is a marvellous visual feature when viewing from the Market and Bull Bridge on the A449.

Your Penkridge Town Crier was also present and more information about Thomas Brassey and the building of the Viaduct can be found on the Penkridge Website.

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