More than any other piece of machinery created by the mind and hands of man, the Steam Locomotive is described as being “alive”; indeed they are said to be “born” when they leave the works brand new, and they are “Christened” when they are named. And, it is amazing to think, that a little over a century separates the record-breaking Mallard and Stephenson’s Rocket – which, in comparison, was basically a self-propelled kettle. It’s also interesting to note the Unitarian involvement in the development of the locomotive: George Stephenson was educated by Rev. William Turner of Newcastle; Henry Booth, one of the Directors of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway and the progenitor of the multi-tube boiler, was also a Unitarian. And of course there was Richard Peacock of Beyer, Peacock of Manchester and Lord Airedale of Leeds who both built and developed railway engines. But we’re not here for a lecture on railway locomotives and the Unitarian influence thereon.