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By Ross Fisher on

Locomotion conservation update

A look at the progress made on the conservation of historic buildings at the Locomotion site.


The Locomotion museum is split into two distinct areas, the oldest and historic part containing Soho House (Circa 1830), the Soho Cottages (Circa 1830), the Soho Shed (1826) and the Black Boy Branch Buildings (Circa 1830/1858  are all Grade II listed buildings, Goods Shed (Circa 1857/1896), Welcome Building (1888) and Parcel Office (1900) are the 7 buildings being worked upon and are sited within the Shildon Conservation Area and are considered nationally important.

The buildings are a fantastic asset to the Locomotion site and add to the rich history of the area which is highly significant in terms of connections with the Stockton to Darlington Railway, Timothy Hackworth, and the development of the railway.

An overview of the Locomotion site

Conservation project

The project works are to undertake repairs to the range of historic buildings at Locomotion. The buildings are in a poor state of repair due to a historic lack of maintenance over the recent years, with some buildings being closed to the public. They have suffered rapid decline by not being used, which has not been helped by an increase in vandalism. They currently have a neglected and ‘unloved’ feel to them.

The purpose of the project is to carry out the repairs required to stop their decline and to make them structurally sound, water and weather tight and fit for new uses.


The project commenced at the beginning of January 2020 and is planned to be completed at the end of August 2020

The first building worked upon is the Goods Shed, followed by Parcel Office, Soho Shed, Welcome Building, Soho House & Cottages with the Black Boy Branch Buildings as the last part of the project.

The paint colours used have been taken from a forensic paint survey that was carried out in 2019, these colours have been determined as the earliest colour used on each building as they are from a development period of 70 years, rather than a generic colour for the whole site.

Scope of works undertaken

The works undertaken are wide-ranging, but in principle:

  • Replacement of damaged slates on Goods Shed, Parcel Office and Welcome Building
  • Renewal of roof to Soho House & Cottages, Soho Shed and Black Boy Branch Buildings
  • Replacement of damaged stone to Goods Shed, Soho Shed, Soho House & Cottages & Black Boy Branch Buildings
  • Repointing (lime mortar) as required
  • Brickwork repairs/replacement to Welcome Building
  • Renewing/refurbishing cast-iron rainwater goods
  • Timber repairs as needed to doors/windows
  • Full redecoration
  • The works are being undertaken by principal contractor Vest Construction, with the specialist stonework repairs being carried out by St Austie

SMG’s role

The project is being overseen by Donna Walker, Locomotion Estates Manager, and Ross Fisher, Estates Project Manager (North)

Project update pictures

Goods Shed

The goods shed before restoration
The goods shed before restoration
The goods shed after restoration
The goods shed after restoration


Parcel Office

The parcel office before restoration
The parcel office before restoration
The parcel office after restoration
The parcel office after restoration

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