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.
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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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