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Discovering our heritage.

Byline: Liz Walker Reporter liz.walker@ncjmedia.co.uk

PUPILS helped to launch a festival to celebrate the worldwide importance of one of the region's famous trains.

The Puffing Billy Festival aims to help more people discover the story of William Hedley and his Wylam locomotive.

Children from Wylam First School, Newburn, Walbottle Village and Waverley Primary Schools joined in the fun at Wylam Countryside car Park, walking down the old waggonway to George Stephenson's Birthplace and back.

The Puffing Billy Festival is a whole weekend of exciting activities, organised by the Friends of Puffing Billy, with support from Beamish Museum.

Other events have included a clean-up of William Hedley's grave at Newburn Parish Church with Groundwork and themed Puffing Billy brew by Wylam brewery.

The National Trust will also be opening the doors of George Stephenson's Birthplace for free over the weekend so that people can also find out about another famous Wylam engineer.

More events continue tomorrow in Newburn Tyne Riverside Country Park from 11am to 4pm.

On both days, a guided walk will be led by Heddon Local History Society from Heddon Memorial Park at 9am.

CAPTION(S):

Jim Elliott from Beamish museum; Groundworks volunteers, Sean Daly, Robert Harper and Yvette Martin, at William Hedley's grave; Ashley Bell in the procession; and kids enjoy a picnic on the Wylam Waggonway

School, Newburn Manor, Walbottle Village and Waverley Primary launch the Puffing Billy Festival by walking along Wylam Waggonway to George Stephenson's birthplace
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2013
Words:245
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