An unexpected (but welcome) guest

As the old saying goes, all guests at Apedale are welcome. Some when they arrive, others when they go. Falling firmly into the first category is Hunslet quarry tank “Sybil Mary”, which is a very temporary visitor. The team at Statfold Barn – where “Sybil-Mary” normally lives – have very kindly stepped into the breach left by the cylinder problems on the Joffre. We have a commitment to a photo charter later in the month – which requires two steam locos. The Joffre problem left us with a slight shortfall in the chuffa department. “Sybil Mary” and resident “Stanhope” are both ex-Penrhyn, and look a right picture in their similar liveries. This is certainly the fist time they have been together in preservation, but (at one time) they were both owned by the late  Colin Pealling, who was instrumental in the preservation of a number of the Penrhyn locomotives. The author vividly remembers visiting “Sybil Mary” when it was in store on a farm in rural Leicestershire and being told that it seemed unlikely that if would ever be restored. Ironically, the loco was, whereas the farm is now a housing estate. We understand that that there are still a few vacancies for the charter day – contact us here and we’ll put you in touch with the organisers.
Meanwhile, tearing ourselves away from the glamourpuss end of the operation, work has continued on the Parkinson’s Law siding, and this is nearly complete. Which is a good job, since the Stoke Steam Special weekend is closing fast – it’s September 14 & 15 – and we’ll need this bit of track to give a bit of much-needed flexibility in how we operate the railway. Look forward to seeing you then?