The Moseley Railway Trust held the annual railway gala at the Apedale Valley Light Railway on May 13 & 14. The theme for the 2017 event was to mark the centenary of the Kerr, Stuart locomotive â€œStanhopeâ€. Kerr, Stuart were a firm of locomotive builders based in Stoke-on-Trent â€“ just a few miles from Apedale.
Three visiting engines attended, two built by Kerr, Stuart, and the third built to a Kerr, Stuart design. With the home-based fleet of Stanhope and a further 1916-built Kerr, Stuart loco, it is believed that this was the largest gathering of Stoke built locomotives in preservation.
The Gala attracted over 1000 visitors. Phil Robinson, the Trust Chairman said â€œWe are very pleased with how the Stanhope Gala went. On behalf of the Trust, Iâ€™d like to express my thanks to the visiting loco owners and also to all our volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the weekend a successâ€.
The centenary of Stanhope was marked with various cakes â€“ edible by humans and edible by engines. The owner of Stanhope â€“ or the â€œcurrent custodianâ€, as he described himself â€“ Dr John Rowlands made a speech describing the remarkable story of how the loco survived into preservation. It was a close-run thing! This story has been put into print in a new book written by Phil Robinson and published by the Trust.
Looking to the future, there will be a new enthusiast-focussed event in October. The Diesel Delights weekend â€“ 7 & 8 October 2017 â€“ will see many of the Trustâ€™s collection of internal combustion locos in action. Some will haul passenger trains â€“ in some cases, these will be the first-ever passenger working for locos over fifty years old!
In 2018, the Trust will hold the third of the popular Tracks to the Trenches events, themed around the First World War. The site will be transformed into the Western Front for the weekend â€“ July 13, 14 & 15 2018. The Trust would be pleased to hear from potential exhibitors of WW1-appropriate items, particularly road vehicles.
More details of the Trust and the Apedale valley Light Railway can be found on Facebook or here.
Posted by Peter Bowyer on 1 June 2017