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Bittern comes to North Yorks after chance pub chat

Bittern's arrival in North Yorkshire is down to the Artistic Director of the Swaledale Festival, Malcolm Creese, who had a conversation in a pub with one of the bosses of the company that owns the locomotive.

Bittern's visit marks the start of the annual festival of music and arts across Wensleydale and Swaledale, which has been running for 42 years.


Crowds gather for Swaledale festival

Crowds at the Swaledale Festival. Credit: ITV

Crowds gathered early this morning to welcome the locomotive, Bittern, to the Wensleydale Railway.

It's the sister of the famous Mallard - which celebrated the 75th anniversary of its record breaking 126mph run on the East Coast main line last year.

The event was organised to mark the start of the Swaledale Festival.

Three generations of train enthusiasts were there to see the LNER A4 Pacific No. 4464 'Bittern', on the first day of the May Bank Holiday.

The LNER A4 Pacific No. 4464 'Bittern'. Credit: ITV