Barrie Grunewald: Plaque secures Rainhill’s place in history

Council leader 
Barrie Grunewald
Council leader Barrie Grunewald

It was great to see my ward Rainhill hit the headlines this week as its place in the railway history books was confirmed.

Rainhill was the site of the 1829 Rainhill Trials - won by George Stephenson and his Rocket locomotive. The contest led to the opening of the world’s first public railway the following year between Liverpool and Manchester.

To commemorate this, Members of the Rainhill Railway and Heritage Society, Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Mechanical Engineers,

American Society of Mechanical Engineers and American Society of Civil Engineers unveiled a plaque at Rainhill Library that sees the line – with a route substantially unaltered since its construction - take its place alongside some of the world’s most iconic structures.

The Eiffel Tower and the Brooklyn Bridge are among the select group to gain the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Historical Civil Engineering Landmark status.

As both Leader and a Rainhill Councillor, I’m delighted that our place in history is being commemorated in this way.

The world owes much to the pioneering developments that took place in and around St Helens. The economic and social impact of the railway across the globe was, without exaggeration,immense.

The Historical Civil Engineering Landmark plaque will be on temporary display at Rainhill Library before being moved to a permanent home at Rainhill Station early next year.