An infamous train derailment during the General Strike which saw the driver avert disaster is being remembered in special events this week. 

During the 1926 General Strike, miners in Cramlington accidentally derailed the Flying Scotsman.  No one was killed and only one person was slightly injured.

The event will be marked at the Tyneside Irish Cultural Centre in Stowell Street, Gallowgate, Newcastle at 2pm and 7pm on Tuesday (September 26).

The Northern Echo:

It includes an illustrated talk by playwright Ed Waugh, recitations, songs and a showing of the  30-minute BBC film (1970) The Cramlington Train Wreckers which features interviews with surviving four "train wreckers".

The film screened as part of the Yesterday's Witness series in 1970, hasn't been seen on Tyneside for 53 years when it was first broadcast on television.

Eight miners from Cramlington West pit were sentenced to a total of 48 years penal servitude for the derailment they mistakenly believed would be a truck carrying blackleg coal on the seventh day of the 12-day General Strike.

The Northern Echo: A plaque made from the wood of the wreckA plaque made from the wood of the wreck (Image: Ed Waugh)

Ed Waugh, of Wisecrack Productions, who are organising the event with the Tyneside Irish Cultural Society, said: "The Cramlington train crash of 1926 was probably the most notorious incident of the General Strike in May 1926 - and it happened here in the North East!

"The derailment occurred on March 10, seven days into the General Strike, which was arguably the most momentous rupture in UK society since the English Civil War, which started in 1642.

"About 40 miners were involved in the derailment but some later turned King's Evidence and shopped their former marras."

Eight Cramlington miners were each sentenced for up to eight years' penal servitude for their involvement in the event

Ed continued: "My interest in the subject was piqued because the main turncoat was called Waugh. My maternal family worked in the nearby Dudley pit but our family history shows the turncoat, Lyle Waugh was no relation to me."

The eight Cramlington miners were eventually released early due to pressure from the trade union rank and file, politicians and the judiciary itself who saw the original sentences as too harsh.

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The Cramlington Train Wreckers events are  on Tuesday, October 24, at 2pm and 7pm and will  involve a talk by Ed as well as songs and recitations by Micky Cochrane who is currently touring with I Daniel Blake.

The BBC film, Yesterday's Witness, has been digitally restored and will be shown around the region in the autumn and throughout 2024. Any groups interested in the film and a speaker, should contact Ed via

Tickets for the Tyneside Irish Centre only £4 via eventbrite. For the 2pm event click here and for the 7pm click here