Record-breaking Kerr Stuarts at Apedale

A record-breaking number of Kerr Stuart locomotives is planned for the Moseley Railway Trust’s ‘Stanhope Steam Gala’ at the Apedale Valley Light Railway on May 13/14.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Kerr Stuart ‘Tattoo’ 0-4-2ST Stanhope will be one of a record-breaking gathering of Kerr Stuart locomotives at the May 13/14 gala. MRT

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Kerr Stuart ‘Tattoo’ 0-4-2ST Stanhope will be one of a record-breaking gathering of Kerr Stuart locomotives at the May 13/14 gala. MRT

Two of the already confirmed line-up are celebrating their 100th anniversaries this year: Kerr Stuart ‘Sidar’ 0-4-0T Diana and ‘Tattoo’ 0-4-2ST Stanhope.

Apedale resident, Stanhope, was built at Kerr Stuart’s California Works in Stoke-on-Trent in 1917, and was the first of the class to be fitted with Hackworth valve gear. It is now preserved only five miles from its birthplace.

The other centenarian at the event, former Kerry Tramway locomotive Diana, is the only surviving ‘Sidar’ class locomotive in Europe, and returned to steam for the first time in 65 years in 2015 at the Bala Lake Railway, where it is now based. The only other existing ‘Sidar’ is preserved in Namibia.

No other locomotives have yet been announced for the AVLR’s gala. According to the Moseley Railway Trust Press officer, Simon Lomax: “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!”

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!”

Tickets will be £6 for adults and £3 for children. More details can be found on the MRT’s website at: www.mrt.org.uk, or the AVLR’s website at: www.avlr.org.uk.