LNER celebrates 100 years of the East Coast Main Line with collection of 100 stories at Newcastle Station
and live on Freeview channel 276
Unveiled on Tuesday, August 22 at Newcastle Central Station, ‘100 Years of Firsts’ shines a light on a century of remarkable, moving, and heart-warming tales from passengers, relatives, LNER colleagues and historians. The gallery includes written stories, audio recordings and photography capturing the firsts from a century of the line, including stories from Durham and Newcastle.
One of the tales is of five-year-old Rupert Turner, who embarked on a journey to the bright lights of London from his hometown of Durham where he attended his first ever West End show, ‘Newsies’. A huge theatre fan, Rupert even got to go backstage to meet his favourite actor. With aspirations to grace the stage himself when he’s older, seeing his first West End performance was huge for the young man.
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Another comes from Ramya, who grew up in India and had a childhood filled with Bollywood movies that showcased London’s Tower Bridge. For her, it became a lifelong dream to visit, and when the opportunity arose to study in the UK, Rayma saw it as her chance to turn that dream into a reality.
Without hesitation, she booked her first-ever UK train journey on the LNER website, travelling from Newcastle to London, and she found herself in the capital.
Other stories include a chance encounter because of missed train, which sparked a four-year relationship, to tales of collecting first pets, pioneering hair salons on the Flying Scotsman and even a Dragon’s Den star travelling to London to be presented with her MBE - the collection has been compiled from interviews, archive research and first-hand accounts, capturing 100 seminal firsts from along the East Coast route.
Claire Ansley, People and Customer Experience Director at LNER, said: “Since 1923, LNER and firsts have gone hand in hand. Whether it's breaking speed records, introducing cinema carriages or hiring the UK’s first black train driver, our pioneering spirit continues to push us forward along with millions of customers every year.
"Each story in this exhibition marks a moment. From touching personal accounts to lesser-known milestones of historical significance born out of a rich history of pioneering progress, the number of firsts which have been marked on the East Coast Main Line is incredible."