Bala Lake plans Penrhyn gala

The Bala Lake Railway will be hosting a Penrhyn quarry-themed gala on June 16-18, with two visiting ‘Quarry Hunslets’ expected to attend.

 One of the two 'Quarry Hunslets' confirmed for the Bala Lake Railway's Penrhyn quarry gala in June,  Hugh Napier  is seen on display in the new concourse at Kings Cross. PETER JOHNSON/SR

One of the two 'Quarry Hunslets' confirmed for the Bala Lake Railway's Penrhyn quarry gala in June, Hugh Napier is seen on display in the new concourse at Kings Cross. PETER JOHNSON/SR

Hugh Napier and Gwynedd, courtesy of the National Trust and Bressingham Steam Museum respectively, have been confirmed to attend the three-day event, which celebrates what was once the largest slate quarry in the world.

The pair of ‘Quarry Hunslets’ – so named because the design worked exclusively in the slate quarries of North Wales – both worked at Penrhyn during their working lives.

Gwynedd is one of three 0-4-0STs built to the same design to work the sidings at Port Penrhyn, near Bangor. The BLR’s resident Winifred - which was repatriated to Britain in 2012 after spending 50 years in the USA – is another, and it will be the first time these two engines have worked together since their days at the port.

A potential third visiting locomotive is also in the pipeline.

Gwynedd is scheduled to remain at the railway after the event and operate services on June 19/20, before joining the rest of the BLR's resident fleet of ‘Quarry Hunslets’ at the Ffestiniog Railway’s ‘Hunslet 125’ event on June 22-24.

In return, the FR will be sending its resident George England 0-4-0STT Palmerston to the BLR. The 1863-built locomotive will be making its debut on the BLR, and will be hauling trains on June 21 & 23/24.