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Sir Nigel Gresley’s blue plaque to come home

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 13, 2013

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PIONEERING railway engineer, and South Derbyshire man, Sir Nigel Gresley, is to have a blue plaque unveiled in his honour to commemorate his contribution to the UK.

The plaque will commemorate his significant contribution to the advancement and modernisation of Britain’s rail network and will be unveiled at Gresley’s childhood home, the Old Rectory, in Netherseal on Wednesday, February 27.

Assisting Andrew Lewer, leader of Derbyshire County Council, with the unveiling will be Sir Nigel’s Grandson, Tim Godfrey, and Councillor Nicholas Rushton, leader of Leicestershire County Council - the county in which Netherseal was in when Gresley was growing up.

This is the second blue plaque awarded to Sir Nigel - with the first unveiled at King’s Cross Station in 1997.

Famous for designing the steam locomotives Flying Scotsman and Mallard - which attained a maximum speed of 126mph - a world record for steam traction - Sir Nigel Gresley, who was born in 1876, was nominated by Will Griffin and following a public vote, was chosen to be honoured with the prestigious blue plaque.

Councillor Lewer said: “Sir Nigel Gresley was so much more than a locomotive engineer. A prolific inventor, he made railway travel faster, smoother and more comfortable for staff as well as passengers. But of course he is best known for his great steam locomotives which were always crowd pullers; big, fast and elegant, they captured the imagination of both the public and the press.

“He also had a wide range of interests including his favourite hobby - collecting many species of wild ducks – in fact, several of his locomotives were named after his beloved ducks including Gadwall, Pochard, Garganey, and of course Mallard.”

Sir Nigel’s elder grandson Tim 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.”

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