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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20130811013 |
|Title:||Mallard Comes Home To Doncaster For The St Leger|
|Subtitle:||14 and 15 September|
|ID & Publication:||20130811013 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
CELEBRATIONS of two of Doncaster’s most famous pieces of heritage will converge as the town welcomes home the world speed record holding steam loco Mallard in time for the St Leger Festival.
Tens of thousands of visitors have already flocked to the National Railway Museum to see the legendary Mallard reunited with its sister locos during the 75th anniversary of its speed record.
Now rail enthusiasts will have the chance to see it back in the Doncaster where it was designed and built by Sir Nigel Gresley in 1938.
Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones said: ‘We’re absolutely thrilled that Mallard is coming back home to Doncaster –and the fact that it is linking with the St Leger brings added cause for celebration.
‘Doncaster is known throughout the world for its rich racing and railway heritage and bringing the two together means that this year’s St Leger Festival will be very special indeed. Over the ten days of the festival we have well over 200 events going on throughout Doncaster, but Mallard’s visit is sure to be one of the highlights. We’ve been working very closely with the National Railway Museum to plan this event so I am delighted that we can finally announce it to the people of Doncaster.’
Mallard was one of 35 A4 locomotives designed by legendary railway engineer Sir Nigel Gresley and built in Doncaster in the 1930s. Mallard was only a few months old when it was chosen for the record breaking run on 3 July 1938. On that day both driver Joe Duddington and fireman Thomas Bray were also from Doncaster and reached a speed of 126mph – a record which has never been broken. To celebrate the 75th anniversary year all six remaining A4 locomotives were brought together in July at the National Railway Museum, which saw record visitor numbers. Two of the locomotives, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada were brought over from museums in North America.
Anthony Coulls, Senior Curator of Railway Vehicles, at the National Railway Museum said: ‘Bringing the collection to the widest possible audience is what it’s all about, and during Mallard’s big anniversary year we wanted to give the people of Doncaster the chance to see the world’s fastest steam locomotive in the town where it was built. The steam legend will be going ‘on tour’ down the East Coast Mainline in the month of September, with Mallard 75 events in Doncaster, Derbyshire and Grantham ahead of our Autumn Great Gathering where the streamlined steam giant will be united once more with its surviving sisters at York.
Mallard will be on display at Freightliner Ltd’s Railport depot on 14 and 15 September and entry will be free. On top of Freightliner agreeing to host the event, a Freightliner locomotive will be bringing Mallard in to the depot. The news comes hot on the heels of Freightliner winning a major new contract from the Port of Felixstowe. There will be stalls and also a chance to see live demonstrations of Freightliner’s working service.
The visit to Doncaster is part of this year’s St Leger Festival Week, a ten day festival around the oldest classic horse race in the world, which dates from 1776. Visitors will also have the chance to see a Deltic locomotive, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, in the town that houses the Regimental Museum. In addition, Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery is hosting a special exhibition during St Leger Festival Week: ‘Mallard – a Doncaster Thoroughbred’ which pays tribute to Mallard and the other A4 locomotives. Rare artefacts will be on display, many of which have never been seen in public before, including A4 nameplates from the Doncaster Grammar School Railway Collection, Cuneo’s masterpiece ‘Giants Refreshed’, and letters, notebooks and drawings from Sir Nigel Gresley.
Other events taking place in Doncaster during the ten day St Leger Festival Week include daily Virgin hot air balloon flights from Cusworth Hall and Afternoon Teas at the Mansion House. The Roman Army once again sets up camp outside the Minster on 7 and 8 September, and an evening of Mozart and Beethoven in the Mansion House on 9 September. Ale Tasting at the Minster takes place on 10 September and there are four days of world class horse racing from 11 – 14 September at Doncaster Racecourse.
For more information on Mallard’s visit to Doncaster and details of the other events in Doncaster during the festival go to www.visitdoncaster.com/stleger or get a copy of the Festival Guide which is due out shortly and lists over 200 events taking place in Doncaster during the 10 day festival.
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