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Mallard and the A4s
Kermit - my nickname at the GCR in August 1994.

The other class A4 locomotive that is to be honoured in these pages is the locomotive named after the creator of these wonderful machines - Sir Nigel Gresley, number 60007. I am a life member of the organisation that owns and looks after 60007. It has been an honour that I have had the chance to ride on her footplate and experience the workings of such a fine beast from the "Sharp End". My experience with Sir Nigel came in 1994 when I was working at the Great Central Railway in Loughborough as a volunteer. The "caretaker" of Sir Nigel Gresley - Roger Barker - required volunteers to aid him in cleaning the locomotive in order that she may look her best. Needless to say I jumped at the chance. At that time I was nicknamed "Kermit" - I wore a green boiler suit and the name kind of stuck. One important reason that Sir Nigel Gresley (then numbered 4498) had to look good was that a locomotive from the rival company (Stanier pacific 46229, Duchess of Hamilton, was due to arrive from the National Railway Museum and we weren't going to be put in the shade by the rivals! I need not say that Sir Nigel was at least as shiney, despite lacking the varnish used on the Duchess.

Sir Nigel Gresley arriving at the GCR Summer 1994Sir Nigel Gresley getting cleaned at 5:30amSir Nigel Gresley getting cleaned at 5:30amSir Nigel Gresley getting cleaned at 5:30amSir Nigel Gresley gets his codsmouth closedSir Nigel Gresley cleanView from the driver's seat on Sir Nigel Gresley Sir Nigel Gresley at Loughborough CentralSir Nigel Gresley at speed on the GCR Summer 1994 as seen from the fireman's side. Bill Gwilt was fireman that day.

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Last updated 24/10/2001.