Gresley duck petition

Please spread the word

The petition calls on the Gresley Society Trust to reinstate the mallard on the proposed statue of Sir Nigel Gresley. Over 1,100 people signed it in the first month – many thanks for the support.


It says that the mallard:

  • makes the statue engaging and charming
  • links Gresley to his most famous achievement, the steam traction speed record with his loco called Mallard
  • sparks interest in, and curiosity about, the statue and the man; very few people alive today would recognise a likeness of Gresley. Even little children will want to know why the duck is there

Without the mallard, a statue of a long-dead man most people have never heard of is not going to be noticed, and will do little to raise awareness and appreciation of Sir Nigel.

Please sign the petition here. We hope to get enough signatures that the Gresley Society can persuade Sir Nigel’s grandsons to change their mind about the mallard. Most people seem to love the duck on the statue.

gresleyandmallard (Copy)

31 thoughts on “Gresley duck petition

  1. I am collecting signatures on the pro forma page but cannot find it now to re-print….is it still there please ?
    I am hoping that the petition is still open for us to send you the signatures

  2. London is littered with statues of long dead and long forgotten people. Without the duck, this statue risks becoming just another one. And what’s wrong with a bit of whimsy?

    • So this is what will happen.

      If it goes up WITHOUT the duck, in about 5 years time, it’ll be moved somewhere less busy – round the back somewhere, to make way for the “Gresley” coffee shop.

      If it goes up WITH the duck, in about 5 years time, they’ll be selling tickets for “Mallard!” the musical.

      The grandsons don’t have to walk past it everyday. Think of the vandal fun – everyday a new duck will appear – on his head, on his arm, on his leg. A spokesman said: “There will have to be a permanent fund set up to remove the daily duck detritus.

      Can we lobby the local council to only support the duck version? Basically, it will be boring and in the way – unless it can create delight!

  3. Seems to me to be a bit of confusion here. The grandsons might own 1/4 of Gresley’s genes but surely it is posterity that owns his achievements.

  4. Dear Sirs

    The Mallard Duck is a clever visual pun giving an association to one of the most famous steam locomotives in the world. However important Sir Nigel may be to those who know most people will not recognise him, the duck will prompt enquiry and adds an element of interest particularly to children who have not grown up in the steam age.

  5. My thoughts on this matter echo many of the comments already made here. But there is one factor, not mentioned, that seems to me make the inclusion of the little duck imperative: it shows Sir Nigel’s humanity.

    It is very difficult to convey the humanity of someone in a statue — grandeur yes, humanity no — and it is a huge credit to Hazel Reeves that she has so brilliantly conveyed this. One could not fail to empathise with her concept after looking at the well-known photo of Sir Nigel “leading” the ducks at his residence.

    Great men and women are more than simply their most noteworthy achievements. Let’s celebrate how fortunate the Society has been to have engaged such an insightful artist to represent this giant of engineering — who also loved ducks.

  6. As a former member of the Gresley Society No:1670.
    If the original concept of the statue was fully planned with the duck attached. I find the Gresley Society sadly lacking in leadership and professionalism and questionable integrity.
    If they are so weak to the few rather than the wishes of the many.

  7. I greatly admire the work if sir nigel gresley and have always believed The Mallard one of the greatest engineering feats of our time. To build a statue in his honour and not include the mallard is like a cream tea without the cream and tea absolutely unthinkable. Maybe sir nigels family do not appreciate his greatness as an enginèer and what he meant to us lessermortals.

  8. Hi Libby. I recently found out about the issue of the SNG statue and the mallard duck. I’ve managed to track down, so far, about a dozen UK residents who enthusiastically support this petition. Now that I am living in Melbourne (Australia) its a challenge to bring this issue to the notice of many of my ‘old’ railway friends back ‘home,’ but I’ll also try getting some expats here to support the petition as well.

    Two weeks ago (whilst back in the UK) I was at Paddington station. Far more people there seemed interested in looking for the ‘unique’ Paddington Bear statue than that of a seated famous Victorian gentleman (I K Brunel).

    Hence I’m sure that a mallard alongside the statue of SNG will be a very significant drawcard. The design is probably unique, and the link between the bird, the engineer and Mallard the locomotive must surely lead many a (young) enquiring mind to learn more of this outstanding Edwardian engineer.

    Bob Eden. (Melbourne, Australia).

  9. Keep the mallard duck,it is a fitting tribute to a great engineer and his world famous engine “MALLARD”. I cannot understand the attitude of Tim Godfrey,it seems to me he is the stupid duck:

  10. Please keep the Duck. One only has to look at the grave of Sir Nigel before restoration to see how ‘they’care.

    • Please, retain the mallard. Apart from the charm factor, I see a marketing opportunity for the society.

  11. Dear Gresley Society Trust,

    Please reinstall the Mallard on the statue of Sir Nigel Gresley, I appreciate some family members have complained. However I believe their complaints to be unwarranted. The mallard is a a very clever symbolic indication of the name given to one of his train designs. It provokes historical thought and analysis, and does not detract from the artistic statue of Sir Nigel himself. Thus the statue should contain the mallard for prosperity and for the education and enjoyment of future generations.

    Yours sincerely,

    Kirsty Stubbs BA MA

  12. Although at first unsure I now feel after reading the persuasive comments of others that the duck should be included and there should be an explanation of its relevance on the plaque.

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