YOURS for a guide price of £155,000: a two-bedroomed detached house with a unique piece of railway history attached.

In the Stockton & Darlington Railway’s ledgers, it is property D13, which was beside the fantastically-named Hole of Paradise, although on the estate agent’s sale notice it is Layfield House, Urlay Nook Road, Eaglescliffe.

The Stockton & Darlington Railway opened on September 27, 1825, principally to transport coal from south Durham to market. A couple of small branchlines ran off the main line taking the coal as close as possible to the consumers, and so on October 17, 1825, the 1.2 mile long Yarm branchline opened running the black gold down to the Hole of Paradise coal depot. It was almost on the parapet of Yarm bridge so that Yorkshire consumers could easily cross the river and cart the coal away.

That day, a horse pulled the first wagonloads down to the Hole of Paradise, and everyone celebrated by having a first drink in a new inn, called the New Inn, which also opened on October 17, 1825 – possibly the first purpose-built railway pub anywhere in the world?

Until a couple of decades or so ago, you could see the remains of the coal drops in the Hole of Paradise behind the pub. They were brick-built arches. The wagons were rolled on top of the arches, the doors in their floor were opened, and the coal tumbled into the bays beneath.

A manager was needed to oversee the operations in the depot, and in about 1840, the railway built a house for him to live in – that is the house that is now for sale.

In the late 1850s, the S&DR decided to mark each of its residential properties with a unique number. Those properties on the line from Thornaby to Middleton St George were given numbers prefixed by the letter “D”, and so the depot manager’s house became D13. The black-and-white plaque can still be seen beneath the house’s eaves, and it is the only one of the 20 D-numbers to survive in situ.

Even when the plaque went up, the S&DR was beginning to look like a rather old-fashioned railway – in Yarm in 1851, it had been overshadowed by the splendid 43-arch viaduct which the Leeds Northern Railway had marched across the floodplain.

The S&DR abandoned its coal depot line in 1871, and gradually houses and roads covered its trackbed so that it is now almost impossible to discover.

The New Inn kept the railway connection alive for a while by calling itself the Railway Inn, but it is now the Cleveland Bay and the coal depot in the Hole of Paradise behind it has had blocks of flats built on it.

So the only obviously intact feature of this early railway experiment is D13, the Grade II listed depot manager’s house, which the estate agent describes as “a unique property of significant local architectural and historical importance, situated in a desirable and prime location”.

For £155,000 are you going to find a better hole than the Hole of Paradise?

THE 1951 Page in History featured in Memories 398 included a story about a Russian doctor who believed that by grafting monkey glands onto exhausted human bodies, he could add a 20 years on to a human life.

“To football fans like myself, this brings the name Major Frank Buckley to mind,” says Martin Birtle in Billingham. “He was the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers and in 1937, he announced he was going to start injecting his players with monkey glands.

“Results were good and other clubs followed in his footsteps, one of them being Portsmouth.

“In 1939, the two clubs met in the cup final called in some quarters the Monkey Gland Cup Final. Despite being strong favourites, Wolves were beaten 4-1 by Portsmouth.

“Was there any truth in the injections improving results or was it a con and relying on a placebo effect? The jury is still out…”

MEMORIES 397 got in a little trouble with painter LS Lowry (we called him TS Lowry), but lots of people called to correct us.

Following the correction, Alan Thexton of Harnby, near Leyburn called to say: “Did you know LS Lowry and his mother went to the Seaburn Hotel in Sunderland every the autumn during the 1960s? He was a very eccentric fellow and he used to enjoy looking for hours out of the hotel window at the sea. It was an annual trip for him and his mother and he used regularly to get on Tyne Tees TV.”