More than 100,000 visitors have already flocked to the National Railway Museum’s Great Gathering to see A4 4468 Mallard during the 75th anniversary year of its speed record. Now the world’s fastest locomotive will be going ‘on tour’ in September along the East Coast Mainline.
In the run up to the Museum’s Autumn Great Gathering, the second time that Mallard will be meeting its surviving sisters, the steam legend will star in a series of weekend events in neighbouring regions to its home in York.
© National Railway Museum
The mighty machine will first appear in Grantham, the place where the world speed record was set in 1938 on the downwards gradient of Stoke Bank on 8/9 September. It will be the centrepiece of a Festival of Speed where it will be joined by other historic exhibits as part of a free east coast ‘Story of Speed’ including streamlined 1930s racing cars
Next, the legendary locomotive will return to the place of its birth, Doncaster, in time for their annual St Leger Festival. Mallard will be on display at Freightliner Ltd’s Railport depot on September 14 and 15 during a free event.
Built in Doncaster in the 1930s, Mallard was one of 35 A4 locomotives designed by legendary railway engineer Sir Nigel Gresley. The locomotive was only a few months old when it was chosen for the record breaking run on 3 July 1938. On that day both driver Joe Duddington and fireman Thomas Bray (also from Doncaster) reached a speed of 126mph – a record which has never been broken.
Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery will also be hosting a special exhibition during St Leger Festival Week: called Mallard – a Doncaster Thoroughbred, which will pay tribute to Mallard and the other A4 locomotives.
Rare artefacts will be on display, many of which have never been seen in public before, including A4 nameplates from the Doncaster Grammar School Railway Collection, Terence Cuneo’s masterpiece Giants Refreshed, and letters, notebooks and drawings from Sir Nigel Gresley.
Mallard will then join other Doncaster-built locomotives to celebrate 160 years of Doncaster Works at the popular Barrow Hill Roundhouse in Chesterfield, Derbyshire for their own celebrating 160 years of the Doncaster Works on September 28 and 29.
The next major event in the National Railway Museum’s Mallard 75 season of events and activities sponsored by Hornby is the Autumn Great Gathering in York from 26 October – 8 November. The final opportunity to see Mallard and all five sisters is the Great Goodbye event in Shildon, Co. Durham from 15-23 February 2014.