Saw Mallard at the National Railway Museum in York. A steam engine I remember from my youth, though its record-breaking run was in 1938. On 3rd July 1938, the A4 class locomotive designed by Sir Nigel Gresley raced down Stoke Bank at 126mph to set a new steam locomotive world speed record, which still stands. This year the Museum is marking the 75th anniversary of Mallard’s achievement with a series of commemorative events, including three special opportunities to see the record breaker united with its five surviving sister locomotives: a family reunion on an international scale. Only six of the 35 A4 locomotives built survive and two of them have been temporarily repatriated from their home museums in Canada and the US. At the moment, visitors can see the cosmetically restored Dwight D Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada alongside Mallard in the Great Hall at York.
The Museum does not charge for admission and its future is according to The Press in York under threat because of budget cutbacks in the Science Museum Group. Over the weekend, a rally was held at the Museum to keep it open. So please do what you can to support this important part of our industrial heritage, begun by George Stephenson and his “Rocket”. The Museum is currently in the process of restoring The Flying Scotsman and it is hoped to have it back on the rails hauling heritage steam trips in 2015.