Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A Daily Mail Story

A good read http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2333385/Record-breaking-steam-locomotive-Mallard-goes-display-sister-trains-time-mark-75th-anniversary-126mph-journey.html and some wonderful pictures. But do you agree with the thesis?

The paper says

Record-breaking steam locomotive Mallard goes on display with two sister trains for first time to mark 75th anniversary of 126mph journey

  • In a scene not witnessed since the Thirties the three trains sit beside each other at York's National Railway Museum
and it is based on Bob Gwynne's from the Museum's quote.
'This is a very special sight because here we have a scene that hasn't been seen since the 1930s. We haven't seen this for 75 years or so.' 

How accurate is this? Surely at any time through to the mid 1960s, A4s could have assembled en echelon? If the debate is about garter blue and skirts, one of them on display is not in that state. And even if you focus on that, presumably it was possible into the 1940s. The 25th aniversary of the record was in 1963. I shall look into what if anything was done then. Of course, the Germans think the record is theirs.  As you can tell I am simply uncomfortable when Daily Mail hype carries away a museum.One of two of the people who have left comments with the paper have wised up to this.

Then I opened Wikipedia and was reminded "On the weekend of 5 July 2008, Mallard was taken outside for the first time in years and displayed beside the three other A4s that are resident in the UK, thus reuniting them for the first time since preservation."

David Farms was there and wrote this "Sunday 5th July. Wikipedia is not totally correct though. Mallard in Steam having been outside on a number of occasions prior to this date, Sir Nigel Gresley in steam as stand by for the "Special" and Bittern cosmetically restored as Silver Link were displayed for about two hours outside NRM. Mallard having pulled a "Special" from Doncaster. After that I believe. it took the special to Scarborough and back. Scarborough council having paid for the turntable there to be renovated."  The question now is whether in 2008 there were three or four together at York?

And whilst you look into this an interesting resource is here.

 I grant that when the six are together that will be a novelty that cannot have happened since at least 1963 when Mallard was withdrawn.

A Railway Magazine feature  August 2013 p14 details a late occasion when six BR A4s were together. It was May 12th 1966 at Aberdeen Ferryhill shed. 

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