The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to confirm arrangements for the 2017 railway gala at the Apedale Valley Light Railway. This year’s gala, to be held on May 13 and 14, will mark the centenary of the Kerr, Stuart locomotive “Stanhope”. Kerr, Stuart were a Stoke-on-Trent based locomotive manufacturer – so “Stanhope” is now preserved less than five miles from where it was built. However, the intervening century saw it work in England, Scotland and Wales!
The gala will be themed around Kerr, Stuart products, and the visiting locomotive line-up will reflect this. The Trust looks forward to welcoming Phil Mason and his locomotive “Diana” to the railway. “Diana” will also mark its centenary in 2017, and is the only “Sirdar” class Kerr, Stuart loco in Europe; there is one other preserved in Namibia. “Diana” was used on the long-closed Kerry Tramway in Wales, and now operates on the Bala Lake Railway. The locomotive steamed again in 2015, 65 years after being taken out of traffic.
Further visiting locomotives are under negotiation and will be announced in due course; suffice to say that the Trust is aiming to have the largest-ever gathering of Kerr, Stuart locomotives in preservation at Apedale in May! There will be the usual supporting cast of model railways and trade stands, plus military re-enactors in the recreated World War One trench system.
The Trust will also be launching a new book telling the story of “Stanhope” and its’ astonishing survival – the loco owes its survival to an argument between two well-known personalities from the early years of narrow gauge preservation!
Phil Robison, Moseley Railway Trust Chairman said “We are all looking forward to bringing Diana home to Stoke-on-Trent; the Stanhope Steam Gala looks like being another really good weekend at Apedale. The MRT has developed a reputation for top-notch railway galas, and we are expecting this to be no exception!”