Stockton On Tees is a town on the banks of the River Tees, below the impressive Tees Barrage. The town, in the historical and ceremonial county of Durham, is nationally renowned for hosting the Stockton Riverside Festival which attracts artists and performers from all over the world. This cultural input has helped venues such as Arc and The Georgian Theatre thrive with an array of music, dance and theatre on offer all year round. Fans of watersports are catered for above the Tees Barrage where canoeing, water skiing and even powerboat racing take place on a regular basis. The town also has a rich history of industry and innovation with early furniture designer Thomas Sheraton and inventor of the friction match John Walker both coming from the town. Stockton's most famous accolade is that it is the birthplace of railways - The world's first public railway ran from Stockton to Darlington and opened in 1825.