The 6880 society (a registered charity) was formed in 1998 with the sole intention of recreating a Great Western Grange class locomotive. While many of the other Great Western classes survived into preservation, none of the Grange class escaped the breakers yard cutting torch. Therefore the group was set up to create Betton Grange, which when complete will become the 81st Grange. Many of the society bring with them the skills and knowledge from a previous project, which was the successful restoration of ex Barry Scrap yard large prairie No 5199. This locomotive is now one of the star performers of the Llangollen locomotive fleet.
With the completion of the cab (just in time for the Crewe works gathering) and acquisition of the boiler and other parts in 2005, attention is now focused on completion of the frames.
It was at a spring gala at Llangollen that the idea of running our own event to raise money and awareness for 6880 that plans were first made. There was a general feeling amongst society members that Llangollen railway should be hosting gala events on a par with the biggest names in preservation, after all not many railways can boast so much in only 7.5 miles. This idea has been reinforced from discussions at 6880 sales events, where the conversation has often turned to the Llangollen railway. We are always amazed by how many people have never visited the Railway, and some who have visited have not been back for many years.
This is why we are now offering an event at Llangollen that will give everyone from the first time visit enthusiast living on the south coast, to the volunteer loco cleaner in Wrexham, the opportunity to see what a show this railway can really put on.
As stated earlier this event is primarily a fundraiser for 6880. The main objective is to raise over a three day period, enough money to proceed with forging and machining of the extension frames for 6880, so completing the frames from front to back. We hope that all those who choose to attend will feel that through the purchase of tickets etc…they will be assisting the 6880 society in making history.
We feel the package we are offering is second to none and hope you feel the same.
So on a final note, if you don’t go to any other Gala in 2007 apart from this one, you will have chosen well.