Rail fan unites historic engine with rare collector's plate

A plate showing the Stirling Single which is to on show in Shildon.

A plate showing the Stirling Single which is to on show in Shildon.

First published in News
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The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Shildon and Spennymoor)

VISITORS to a steam gala will be able to view a historic loco next to a rare collector’s plate feature the engine.

Staff at Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon will celebrate the Great Northern Railway during the two day gala.

Among the engines on show will be a Stirling Single locomotive, designed in 1870 to provide a high speed service between London and York.

They carry a distinctive eight foot one inch driving wheels and could reach 64.7mph.

Stuart Bird, a volunteer at Locomotion, has bought a plate in the Great Victorian Achievement series featuring the engines from America for £70.

The gold gilded plate is one of a series of four, the others featuring the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and the Royal Albert Bridge, which links Devon and Cornwall.

He is bringing the plate to the museum on Sunday (May 4) for visitors to see.

Mr Bird said: “No-one at the museum has seen one of these before and it has travelled 3,539miles from Washington DC, in America, to be here. It will be nice to put the plate on show.”

The Stirling Single will be reunited at the gala with its original tender following a two year restoration project.

Visitors will also be able to take a short steam train ride for a small charge.

The museum’s Spring Steam Gala runs between Sunday, May 4, and Monday, May 5, with doors open from 10am to 5pm.

Entry is free and details can be obtained from 01388-777999.

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