A PIONEERING South Derbyshire railway engineer has been given the ultimate recognition with the installation of a blue plaque at his childhood home.
Today, Sir Nigel Gresley’s elder grandson, Tim Godfrey, unveiled the plaque – an honour bestowed by Derbyshire County Council which celebrates important people and places in the county.
The plaque to commemorate Gresley’s significant contribution to the advancement and modernisation of Britain’s rail network was unveiled by the leader of the county council and cabinet member for culture, Councillor Andrew Lewer, at Gresley’s childhood home, the Old Rectory, in Church Street, Netherseal.
Assisting him was Mr Godfrey, and leader of Leicestershire County Council, Councillor Nicholas Rushton.
Famous for designing the steam locomotives Flying Scotsman and Mallard - which attained a record breaking maximum speed of 126mph - Sir Nigel Gresley was nominated by Will Griffin, of Hayfield, and following a public vote, was the chosen recipient.
Born in 1876, Gresley spent his childhood in Netherseal. While at school he developed a lifelong love of railway engineering. He was eventually offered the senior post of carriage and wagon superintendent of the Great Northern Railway.
Mr Godfrey said: “My grandfather was highly respected by his staff and professional colleagues. We are very proud that he is being honoured in this way. The Gresley family has a strong association with Derbyshire traced back to the Norman Conquest, so it is fitting that there is a plaque here where he grew up and where he is buried.”
Nominator Mr Griffin said: “I am a ranger and one of my jobs is to look after the former railway sidings of the Woodhead Line, which Sir Nigel updated at a cost of £13 million. I’ve also seen many of his trains over the years and felt that his great skill and talent made him a worthy recipient of a blue plaque.”