Puffing Billy lives in the Science Museum London but was built in Wylam 200 years ago. That thread of linkage to the NRM is why I now share a press release from Beamish and Wylam Parish
(extracted from a PDF from Wylam Parish and Beamish)
Photograph was taken at the Haugh Pit in the early 1860’s and shows Puffing Billy with the driver J. Carr (right) and fireman W. Greener (left). In the background are three buildings still standing today - the former school of 1854 (far left), Laburnum House (centre) and the Wesleyan Chapel of 1834 on the extreme right.
Invitation to community groups
In 2013 communities along the Wylam to Lemington waggonway will be celebrating 200 years since steam locomotives were used to transport coal from Wylam colliery to Lemington staiths on the River Tyne.
These early engines were the cutting edge technology of the period. being the first commercial steam locomotives working on the adhesion principle. They helped pave the way for the future development of modern railways across the world.
‘Puffing Billy’ was one of these steam locomotives, built circa 1813 – 14, working for nearly 50 years along the waggonway. The engine survives today, almost certainly the oldest locomotive in the world and a fully operational working replica was built in Beamish and launched in 2005.
A group of interested parties has begun to meet to discuss possible events to develop a programme for a Puffing Billy Festival which will include visits to and from Beamish Museum , involve the Puffing Billy replica, community events and an attempt to replicate the steam power that travelled down the lines with pupil power that will travel along the track way from Wylam to Newburn (along its original route).
This group, including so far, representatives from Wylam Parish Council, Beamish Museum, members of local groups, members of the public, Northumberland County Councillors and officers and Newcastle City Councillors and officers would like to invite you to find out more and how you can get involved at an informal meeting on;
Wednesday 16th January at 7pm Walbottle Campus,
Hexham Road, Walbottle. Newcastle upon Tyne. NE15 9TP
We all feel that this is a great opportunity to use this very significant anniversary to build on the many successful community events of 2012, foster cross community links and develop cross county links and are keen and excited to involve as many people and groups as possible.
Please pass this on to other interested parties, come along, have a cup of tea, find out the ideas we have had and discuss any ideas of your own.
If you would like to come along or have any questions then please contact either;
Geraldine Starker Community Engagement Co-ordinator, Beamish Museum
0191 370 4000 (ext 2080) firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Martin Wylam Parish Council
01661 852025 email@example.com
In the Hexham Courant 1st February 2013 it was announced that the Puffing Billy replica which lives at Beamish will visit Wylam on 21st September 2013. A great piece of community news.
In the end a very successful festival with major help from Beamish and some help from the NRM was held. More detail here.