Over time, the Worth Valley scene changes. Seasons come and go, and locomotives and rolling stock come into and go out of traffic. Every weekend we see regular photographers and camera wielding enthusiasts at the lineside in hi-viz jackets recording the passage of trains which we are delighted to feature in our News@KWVR blog and on our main website.
But the lineside has not only been the preserve of human enthusiasts. For those who regularly visit the KWVR, there has been a constant sight trackside and at stations along the line. The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway is the favourite railway of video cameraman, Ken Baker who has for many years produced videos under the name, Penny Steam – the title being derived from the name of his trusty little black companion, Penny. Whenever you saw Ken, Penny would not be far away and she was well known to many of the volunteers on the Railway, in the stations and in Haworth Yard and also to passengers who visited the line on a regular basis. Indeed, YouTube viewers of Ken’s videos would have no idea what Ken looks like, but would recognise Penny instantly as she featured at the beginning of every video. Penny has been trackside at all the KWVR events – Galas, Beer Festivals, Haworth Haddocks, Haworth 1940s to name just a few – and on numerous weekends throughout the year, come rain or shine.
Penny was as much a part of the Worth Valley scene as our locomotives and so it was with great sadness we learnt in late November that she had developed a tumour which by late December had developed to such an extent that on the 20th December, after visiting the Railway for the last time, she peacefully passed away that evening.
As a tribute to a small part of the Worth Valley scene that has helped to spread our story around the country, below is a short video of the KWVR, “Penny’s lineside story at KWVR” featuring Penny’s visits and of course the Railway, that Ken insists was her favourite.