Sunday 30 July 2017

Sunday Snap – The train designer

We were in Stratford-upon-Avon for last week's Sunday Snap of a decorative lamp post. I asked which poems, plays or musicals the characters on the lamp post featured in and the answers were

The Owl from Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat, Bottom from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream and Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof.
Singing and dancing with the right answers were Susan, Cheryl, Lisa, Kara and Soma.

We've been away this week but before we left the country we had a walk around King's Cross Station and found the statue of Sir Nigel Gresley. It was unveiled on 5th April 2016 – the 75th anniversary of his death. As the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Northern Railway and then the London and North Eastern Railway his offices were based in the station. His achievements live on to this day with train enthusiasts as two of his trains are the most famous to have ever run on British rails.

The first is the A3 Class Pacific Steam Locomotive built in 1923. It ran on the East Coast Main Line service from London to Edinburgh. Its destination and speed gave rise to its name. On 30 November 1934 it was the first steam locomotive to have been recorded as reaching 100 mph. In 1962 British Railways announced it would scrap this locomotive with its last service on 14th January 1963. It was saved from the scrapyard when it bought by a private owner but had a number of difficult years where it had a variety of owners and was shipped out to Australia. By 1995 the locomotive was pieces but it was finally rescued in 2004 when it bought at auction by the National Railway Museum in York. Finally in 2016 it returned to the rails painted in its distinctive Brunswick Green livery.

The second locomotive is known for still being the holder of the world speed record for steam locomotives. On 3rd July 1938 just south of Grantham the locomotive achieved an astounding 126 mph. This was down to the steamlined design which can still be seen in modern high-speed trains. It now lives in the Great Hall in National Railway Museum in York painted in a bright Garter Blue. Sir Nigel Gresley had a hobby of breeding wild birds and ducks at his house and the locomotive was named after a duck. This week's question is

Can you name any of the trains that Sir Nigel Gresley designed?

We were joined last week by Susan and a trip to Blackpool. Cheryl had the privilege of being the first to find a geocache. Taking in the delights of the Festival of Lights was Lisa. Kara has been attending a nursery graduation and getting wild with Andy Day. Sue was in a bubble. The landscapes of the UK have been an inspiration for Soma in he quilt making. Finally, in New Zealand Betty has been finding out sign of the sea.

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Sunday Snap

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  1. No idea, sorry. But I do love these posts & look forward to my history & geography lesson. Your Sunday snap posts are the highlight of my week's fascinating xx

  2. I don't know much about trains, I'm afraid - The Flying Scotsman?


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