Made in Staffordshire

The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to announce details for the 2011 September gala at the Apedale Valley Light Railway, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. The gala, entitled “Made in Staffordshire”, will be held on September 10 and 11 2011.

The event will focus on the Staffordshire-based locomotive builders. Staffordshire supported a variety of railway engineering companies, and most of these will be represented. From Kerr Stuart of Stoke-on-Trent will be the resident “Stanhope” and, all being well, the MRT’s newly restored “Joffre” locomotive. The restoration of the “Joffre” is now in its final stages. There have been a number of last minute snags, as is inevitable on a locomotive which has not steamed since the 1950s, but the owning group are very much hoping that these will be resolved in time for the September event.

Representing the WG Bagnall company of Stafford will be “Isabel”. Built in 1897, “Isabel” is normally based at the Amerton Railway. This locomotive was for many years preserved in gardens near Stafford railway station. The MRT is very grateful to the Amerton Railway and to Stafford Borough Council for allowing Isabel to visit Apedale.

However, it is important to also be aware that there is still a vibrant manufacturing industry in Staffordshire – and one which still builds steam locomotives. The Hunslet Engine Company will loan one of the recent build locomotives to the classic “Quarry Hunslet” design – 108 years younger than Isabel, and demonstrating that Staffordshire remains a centre for engineering excellence. Again, the MRT wishes to thank Graham Lee, Henry Noon and the team at Hunslet for facilitating this visit.

The final major locomotive builder in Staffordshire was Baguley of Burton on Trent; the MRT has two Baguley locomotives in the collection, built over a 54 year timespan. There may also be a special surprise additional Burton-built locomotive – details are under negotiations currently.

Building on the success of previous years, there will also be a supporting cast of model railways, vintage vehicles and a wide range of traders. The MRT would be pleased to hear from individuals or groups who wish to exhibit – particularly anything with a Staffordshire theme.

The event will be open from 1100 to 1700 on each of the days. Admission this year will be £6 for adults, £3 for children – each admission ticket will also include a train ride on the railway. Further rides can be purchased if required. There is a buy-in-advance option available for the first time this year – this gives a worthwhile discount on the on the gate price. Further details are available here. Get in touch here.