ON June 29, 1968 ex-Turner & Newall (Trafford Park) Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST Asbestos (2780/1909) worked the first trains at the new Chasewater Railway following the Railway Preservation Society – West Midlands District’s move from its previous base at Hednesford.
Fifty years on and Bill Parker’s Kerr, Stuart 0-4-0WT Willy (3063/1918) is expected to help the railway celebrate its half-century during a three-day 50th anniversary gala on May 26-28.
Themed under the banner of Made in Staffordshire, the event will provide the railway with a platform to not only mark 50 years of steam operations on the site, but also showcase its extensive collection of steam and diesel motive power, built by the county’s well-known manufacturers.
On the steam side, Stoke-on-Trent-built Willy will join Chasewater’s two resident
14in-cylindered 0-4-0STs – Dunlop No. 6 (2648/1940) and ex-Kent Electric Power Company No. 2 (2842/1946) – which will fly the flag for Stafford’s W G Bagnall.
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