THE return of home-based Grant, Ritchie 0-4-0ST No. 21 (272/1894) from summer hire at the Telford Steam Railway enabled the Ribble Steam Railway (RSR) to turn out four steam locomotives for its annual autumn gala on September 29-30.
While it was good to have the ex-Kinglassie Colliery loco back on home metals, the undoubted star of the weekend was Hudswell, Clarke 0-6-0ST Mitchell/Illingworth (1208/1916), visiting courtesy of Stephen Middleton and the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway.
The elegant ex-Nidd Valley Railway loco has developed quite a following since the completion of its restoration earlier this year, and its appearance in Preston, along with decent weather, was a significant draw.
Preston Docks lookalike Bagnall 0-6-0ST Courageous (2680/1942) and ex-British Steel Corporation Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0ST Linda (3931/1938) were also in service, with the Bagnall being the only one of the four facing towards Strand Road.
RSR chairman Dave Watkins was very pleased with how the weekend went. “Everything went well at the gala,” he said. “All four locos behaved themselves and visitor numbers were good.”
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