The second Great North Steam Fair took place at Beamish Museum from April 6-9, with a line-up of over 100 vehicles and locomotives in action and on display.
A highlight of this year’s event was a visit by 15in gauge 2-8-2 River Mite from the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. Built by Clarksons of York in 1966, River Mite was hauled across the Pennines to Cumbria by 1920-built Fowler road engine Providence and the same engine was used to re-create the event on its 50th anniversary.
New-build locomotives Samson and Steam Elephant were in operation at the Pockerley waggonway and Aberdeen gasworks Barclay 0-4-0ST Bon Accord worked short trips from Rowley Station. Kerr Stuart built 0-4-0T Diana and 0-4-0ST Roger worked on the narrow gauge railway and 0-4-0 Puffing Billy made a rare working visit to the colliery railway, joining the 1871-built Coffee Pot on a train of chaldron waggons.
Demonstrations included two saw benches, timber logging, threshing and baling with traction engines and the museum’s trams were in operation. The total number of visitors over the weekend was just a little under 17,000.
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