Fifty Years of Preservation!
12th May 2015
On the 11th May 1965, Hunslet steam locomotive ‘Velinheli’ was saved for preservation when she was bought from the Dinorwic Slate Quarry by the Evans family. After a few years stored at Dinorwic and later the Exeter Maritime Museum, Velinheli arrived in Cornwall in 1969 and has lived in the Duchy ever since; first at a private railway a few miles from Launceston, and since the 1980s here at Launceston.
To mark fifty years of preservation a celebratory tea party was held on the 11th May, with Velinheli in steam for invited guests. As with all good tea parties the sun shone and there was a selection of cakes for the guests – including a very tasty couronne made by Velinheli’s owner James Evans.
Our engine Lilian also came out to join in the fun – like Velinheli it is also fifty years this year since Lilian was saved for preservation, though the actual anniversary date is later in the year. Remarkably both Lilian and Velinheli are still owned by the individuals responsible for saving them for preservation – James Evans (Velinheli) and Nigel Bowman (Lilian) – who together represent a century of steam locomotive expertise!
Both Velinheli and Lilian will be in regular use at Launceston this summer alongside our two other Hunslet locomotives, Covertcoat and Dorothea.