THE great-great-grandson of the “Father of the Railways” has righted a wrong of more than 150 years by opening the first memorial to his illustrious ancestor in his hometown.

Even before Edward Pease died in 1858, the townspeople of Darlington were planning a bronze statue of the man who had financed the Stockton and Darlington Railway – the first steam passenger railway in the world – and who had invested in the genius of George Stephenson.

But Pease modestly brushed aside their approaches and so went uncommemorated – although his son, Joseph, has a statue on High Row.

This week, his great-great-grandson, Captain Nigel Pease, opened the Edward Pease Memorial Room in the Head of Steam museum in North Road.

“It’s a very nice, simple memorial to him,” said Capt Pease, who lives near Barnard Castle.

The two prized exhibits in the room are the famous John Dobbin painting of the opening day of the S&DR in 1825, and the sofa on which Stephenson first talked railways with Pease in 1821. The sofa is said to come from the kitchen of Pease’s house in Northgate.