Stanhope Saturday

In more normal times, this would have been our first steam weekend of the season. Not to worry, we’ll just call this Stanhope Saturday. The undoubted flagship of the Apedale steam fleet, this loco was first steamed in preservation in 1999, and shown to the public at an open day at Alan Keef’s premises that year. The first couple of photos, courtesy of Paul Jarman, show that event. The loco has visited many other railways, and we next see a couple of memorable visits to North Wales – the 2012 Quarry power event on the Welsh Highland Railway, and the 2016 visit to the short-lived operation at the Penrhyn Quarry workshops (where Stanhope was based for many years). Stanhope has been under overhaul for the last couple of years, but the boiler has now returned to Apedale; one of the last acts on site before the lockdown was to paint the repaired boiler. We’d hoped that we would see Stanhope run again in 2020, but who knows?