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