Steaming away in Sheffield
What do the following three numbers have in common – 4498, 7 and 60007? Any railway buffs among you will probably have immediately spotted they are the three running numbers allocated to one of the most iconic steam trains of the 20th Century – The A4 class ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’.
Bearing the name of one of the most famous steam train engineers and designers of all time, the locomotive was released to general traffic in 1937 and served both LNER and British Rail before being finally withdrawn in 1966. A little-known fact perhaps, is that just as her sister locomotive ‘Mallard’ holds the world steam speed train achieved in 1938, the ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ holds the post war record of 112 piles per hour achieved in 1959 while hauling a full train of passengers.
The locomotive is currently owned by the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust and is currently going through an extensive overhaul and is due back on the rails in 2020. Refurbishment is an expensive exercise and as such, the trust is continually looking at ways to raise money - On 23 May Sheffield Auction Gallery sold a Gauge 1 model of the locomotive by L H Loveless as part of their Live Steam and Engineered Model sale. A highly detailed model and in its original presentation case it sold for £4,888 (including buyers premium). As the ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ is owned by a charitable trust the auctioneers waived their sellers commission as their contribution to the project.
More details about the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust can be found at www.sirnigelgresley.org.uk.