Superb for Welshpool gala

Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway Bagnall 0-6-2T Superb will be reunited with its Bowaters stablemate Monarch at the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway’s forthcoming gala on September 1-3.

Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway-based Bagnall 0-6-2T Superb is going to the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway’s gala on September 1-3. PAUL BEST/SKLR

Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway-based Bagnall 0-6-2T Superb is going to the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway’s gala on September 1-3. PAUL BEST/SKLR

Built in 1940 for the Bowaters Paper Mill, Superb (Works No. 2624) will be the star attraction at the WLLR’s annual steam gala, where it will be reunited with Bagnall-Meyer 0-4-4-0T Monarch, the last narrow gauge steam locomotive built for industrial use in Britain.

The 1953-built locomotive is currently on static display inside the 2ft6in gauge line’s display shed at Welshpool.

Superb will also work alongside Welshpool resident Kerr Stuart 0-6-2T Joan. The Bagnall design to which Superb was built was evolved directly from the Kerr Stuart class of which Joan is a member.

SKLR spokesman Paul Best stated that Superb is going on a “well-deserved working holiday” to Wales: “I'm really looking forward to seeing her reunited with Monarch and also to compare her to Joan,” he said.

“We hope the visit will highlight our narrow gauge railway in the forgotten part of Kent. We hope to turn Superb round during her visit so when she returns to Kemsley Down her chimney points towards Sittingbourne, the same as the other steam locos in our fleet,” Paul added.

The gala will also herald the return of former Sierra Leone Railway Hunslet 2-6-2T No. 85, which has recently been on a tour of UK preservation sites after six years of static display inside Locomotion: The NRM at Shildon.

Final plans for the gala are still being drawn up with further information to be confirmed closer to the event. To find out more, please visit: www.wllr.org.uk/events.