Tree planting service pays tribute to steam museum owner

A tree was planted in memory of William Key. Photo: Mike Peake

A tree was planted in memory of William Key. Photo: Mike Peake - Credit: Mike Peake

Friends and family gathered to commemorate the former owner of the Strumpshaw Steam Museum by planting a tree in his honour.

The pair of 1919 John Fowler BB1 ploughing engines at the Strumpshaw Steam Museum, up for sale. With

The pair of 1919 John Fowler BB1 ploughing engines at the Strumpshaw Steam Museum, up for sale. With them is William Key, grandson of Wesley Key who acquired them in 1975. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

The ceremony was in memory of William Key, who died on October 31, 2015, at the age of 35.

He had run the museum since his father, Jimmy Key, passed away in 2006.

William had the task of carrying on the traditions of his father and grandfather, Wesley Key, who founded it in the mid-1960s.

The museum is a celebration of steam and has a variety of engines on show to members of the public.

In the winter of 2014 William led a major revamp and exhibits were grouped together and his grandfather's initial layout was restored.

William's aunt, Kiki Angelrath, 74, described her nephew as being mischievous and cheeky and said he loved his shooting and loved the museum.

Most Read

She added: 'It was absolutely amazing how many people turned up. There must have been over a hundred people.'

A plaque was put up next to the tree which was planted in Strumpshaw Park by the museum's paddock last Sunday, November 28.

The ceremony was organised by Kevin London and family, Vanessa Sayer, Julia Jones and Rupert Liss.

William's dogs Peanut and Marmite were also at the tree planting, and they are now being looked after by a former partner.

The Revd David Wakefield gave and address and said prayers at the commemorative service.

The museum is now being run by a group of volunteers and the museum's Steam Engine Rally is due to take place from Saturday, May 28 to Monday, May 30.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter