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Steam loco festival launches.

A FESTIVAL celebrating 200 years of the Wylam steam locomotives fires up next week.

The Puffing Billy Festival, featuring a series of events, starts on September 4 and has been put together by the Friends of Puffing Billy - supported by Beamish Museum - to celebrate two centuries since the Wylam locomotives started transporting coal from Wylam Colliery to Lemington Staithes on the River Tyne. A spokesman for Beamish said: "Puffing Billy - one of the early locomotives developed by William Hedley - worked for nearly 50 years on the waggonway and still survives today - almost certainly the oldest locomotive in the world to do so."

Next week's event will be the first in a series of talks and will take place at Newburn Activity Centre from 7pm.

Future events include a community celebration on September 21 between 11am and 4pm at Wylam Countryside Car Park and Wylam Falcon Centre, where there will be live music, drama, dance, stalls and competitions.

The following day the festivities will move to Newburn Visitor Centre at Tyne Riverside Country Park, where there will be dance performances, family activities and stalls between 11am and 4pm.

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A replica Puffing Billy at the festival
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 30, 2013
Words:196
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