This blue ribbon, or blue riband as they were called in the 19th century, was made as part of the S&DR 50th anniversary celebrations in 1875. The design reflected the blue ribbons and sashes worn on the opening day of the S&DR on the 27th September 1825 and the opening day of the Middlesbrough branch in 1830. All the crew, including brakesmen who were positioned between couplings on the waggons, wore blue sashes on their right shoulders while other railway employees had blue ribbons in their buttonholes. ‘Blue ribands’ were signs of quality in the 19th century, but this antiquated spelling now survives only as a well-known chocolate biscuit in a blue wrapper. The gold braiding is presumably a Victorian take on the originals. On the front was an image of Locomotion No.1 – you can just see it if you zoom in. Even more difficult to see are the words George over the top of Locomotion No.1 and Stephenson along the bottom.
This artefact from the S&DR belongs to Andrew Stoves.