Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Important breaking world news

At times there are serious matters in this world that are too important to ignore and I have come across one such item. What has it to do with a duck? Well, it is a mallard duck, to be precise. Photo from nature.org


Back in Old Blighty in the olden days, Sir Nigel Gresley designed a high speed steam train. On a slight downhill slope and no doubt with its tongue of concentration firmly between its lips, the train broke the steam train speed record when it reached 200 km/h, 125mph. Oh that Australia's modern electric and diesel trains could reach such speeds. As was his habit of naming other train engines he designed after birds, he named it the Mallard, after the Mallard duck.

Gresley died in 1941 and in the great engineer's memory, the Gresley Society was formed. As the 75th anniversary of his death approaches, the society, flush with funds from a bequest, commissioned a statue of Gresley to be installed at London's Kings Cross Station. Terrific, hey. The sculpture was commissioned at a cost of over £100,000. Better be good and better be bronze. It is in my opinion and it is bronze (unverified).

A maquette was made and in this photo from The Guardian, you can see what the statue will look like.





Isn't the addition of a duck to represent his Mallard train such a cute touch? Everybody thought it was, including the local council, the railways authority, public opinion and the Gresley Society itself.

What could go wrong? Everyone was happy. Well, not quite.  Gresley's grandchildren (some?) did not like the addition of the duck and they made their views known to the society. The debate has subsequently torn the society's committee apart and so far as I can tell, a decision has been made to omit the duck from the sculpture.

Poor Gresley, a man left without a duck.

As I said, this is an important world matter and you can sign a petition here or like the Facebook page Save Gresley's Duck.

PS A new computer has arrived and I expect I will be busy for a few days.

18 comments:

  1. Oh I love the duck addition, makes the statue in my opinion!

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    1. And thank you for the important world news update. The news is shocking that the duck could be eliminated. I needed to know.

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  2. How could they omit the duck. Ridiculous. I will certainly be putting my name to that petition.

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  3. Of course it needs the duck. I don't play FB so cannot sign but I hope it gets up.
    Good luck with your new computer.

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    1. EC, one link is to FB, the other to a petition.

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  4. Ducks my favourite birds

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    1. Gosia, so the duck should stay.

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  5. Always someone going against the grain of others. Frayed tempers know doubt.
    Seems apporiate that the bird/duck stay..

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    1. Margaret, I think so.

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  6. The duck makes sense

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    1. Course it does Diane. Thanks.

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  7. I've given up signing petitions for a while, unless it is something vitally important to me. Why? Because every time I sign one, my email inbox gets flooded with requests to sign more petitions. More, more, more. Enough already!
    But I hope he gets to keep the duck.

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    1. River, I know what you mean. They are overused and I often delete them unread.

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  8. hmmm... Gresley was an important steam locomotive engineer and designer and deserves to be memorialised. The sodding duck, who was irrelevant to 99.999% of Gresley life, does not.

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    1. Hels, the bigger picture. Few UK people know who Gresley is, but they about the Mallard train. The duck will arouse curiosity about the statue and who Gresley was. "Mummy, why is there a duck with the statue of the old man?" "Not sure darling. Let's google it."

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  9. I get the irony Andrew, so much going on in the world, a bronze duck seems a little irrelevant oui! Quack, quack!

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    1. And it wasn't even black humour, Grace. I do black humour to well to share.

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