THE grandsons of one of South Derbyshire’s most famous sons have shown their support for a £5 million project dedicated to his memory.
Ben and Tim Godfrey, the grandsons of Sir Nigel Gresley, were on hand to help officially start work on frames for a new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 dubbed the ‘Prince of Wales’.
More than 300 people have now pledged £1,000 each as part of efforts to help turn the design, which was never fully developed by Sir Nigel, into a real life steam locomotive at the time.
Mark Allatt, chairman of the he A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity behind the project, said: “The main frames of a steam locomotive are the parts upon which everything else is built, and so the importance of this milestone to the trust cannot be overstated.
“With backing from the Prince of Wales and high profile celebrities such as James May, we can demonstrate just how much progress we have made towards resurrecting this amazing design of steam locomotive from the annals of history.”
Sir Nigel, who lived in the Old Rectory, in Church Street, Netherseal, was also famous for designing the steam locomotives the Flying Scotsman and Mallard - which attained a record breaking maximum speed of 126mph.
The project will take more than seven years at an estimated cost of £5 million, of which £750,000 has already been raised.
The class P2 locomotives were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.
More information on the project is available by visiting www.p2steam.com