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North East Industrialist Honoured with Plaque Unveiling

The Open Council can announce that the Lord Mayor of Newcastle will lead the tributes to North East industrialist Lord Armstrong on what would have been his 200th birthday.

Cllr Brenda Hindmarsh will unveil a plaque to Lord Armstrong on Friday, 26 November at 2.30pm at 41 to 51 High Bridge Street, just beside High Bridge Gallery and Studios. 

The plaque which will also commemorate his achievements will be unveiled on the site of Henry Watson’s Works where Armstrong built his first water-powered rotary engine in 1838.

As well as being a businessman Lord Armstrong was also an inventor, engineer and scientist and put his Elswick works on the international map.

He employed over 25,000 people in the manufacture of hydraulic cranes, ships and armaments and was responsible for Newcastle’s Swing Bridge and the hydraulic mechanism that operates London’s Tower Bridge.

He is also know for Cragside, Northumberland, the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity which was visited by guests including the Shah of Persia, the Prime Minister of China and the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

He gave Jesmond Dene to the people of Newcastle and founded Armstrong College which evolved into Newcastle University.  He also supported the Royal Victoria Infirmary, the Hancock Museum of Natural History which is now the Great North Museum.

Before Friday’s unveiling, the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr Brenda Hindmarsh, said:  “Lord Armstrong was responsible for some of this country’s most important inventions and his work continues to be an inspiration to people not only in his native North East but also around the world.  As we mark his 200th birthday I would like to celebrate the role he played in the growth of this city and also his fantastic legacy.”

Lord Armstrong died on 27 December 1900 at the age of 90.