THE REAL NORTHERN POWERHOUSE – THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN THE NORTH EAST, by Alan Morgan, Ken Smith, John Daniels, Dr Stafford Linsley and Dr Tom Yellowley. Tyne Bridge Publishing (0191-2774174). £7.99. Softback. 

Ever since mankind first used tools there have been far-sighted people who have been determined to find a better way of doing things. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this progression became so rapid that we call it the Industrial Revolution. What some people don’t realise is that many of these pioneers worked on Tyneside, developing new equipment, experimenting with new materials and introducing new processes to make products faster, cheaper, stronger and more reliable. This book, written by north-eastern authorities on industry and industrial archaeology, examines the work of those Tyneside trailblazers from medieval times to the 20th century and describes the part they played in a huge range of industries from glassmaking to shipping. At the beginning of the 19th century, railways represented a cheap and efficient way of transporting coal to ports – one hundred years later they were taking British people, goods and ideas around the globe.