By Ken Smith
Who invented the hydraulic crane and the Armstrong Gun? Who founded Elswick Works, once Tyneside’s largest employer? Who built Newcastle’s famous Swing Bridge? Who owned the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity? All this was the work of one man – Lord Armstrong of Cragside. Born in 1801 he was one of the most influential men in the North East during the Victorian era. This pioneering engineer was also a great philanthropist. His generosity helped to establish many institutions that still thrive in Newcastle today.