Gresley Society Chairman’s extraordinary outburst against ‘duck fanatics’

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Gresley Society Chairman David McIntosh has given an extraordinary interview to Steam Railway‘s David Wilcock in a follow-up piece to last month’s analysis of the statue debacle. Here is Mr McIntosh dismissing the 2,000 or so people who have signed the petition to reinstate the mallard on the statue of Sir Nigel Gresley:

These are 2,000 non-members of the [Gresley] Society, mostly duck fanatics who are egged on and led only by themselves…..The vast horde care nothing about Sir Nigel Gresley.

Supporters of the campaign to reinstate the mallard on Sir Nigel’s statue have called the comments offensive, with one summing up the general reaction to Mr McIntosh:

You have done huge damage to the reputation of the Gresley Society and therefore you should resign as the Chairman as you obviously haven’t got the Society in your best interests but only the Godfreys. Shame on you.

Gresley Society Council members Mike Foreman and David McIntosh promoting the Sir Nigel Gresley and Mallard statue in happier times,  before they ditched the duck, November 2014

Gresley Society Council members Mike Foreman and David McIntosh promoting the Sir Nigel Gresley and Mallard statue in happier times, before they ditched the duck, November 2014

4 thoughts on “Gresley Society Chairman’s extraordinary outburst against ‘duck fanatics’

  1. I have sent the following email to McIntosh via the Gresley Society website. I do not expect a reply….

    Dear Mr McIntosh,

    I am surprised and shocked at the high handed manner in which you and the council are conducting the matter of the removal of the mallard from Sir Nigel’s statue. Your statements are bringing the society into disrepute with not just the railway press, but the national press as well.

    I, along with quite a significant number of members are appalled at the statements you have put out, maintaining that you are speaking on our behalf.

    Can I now inform you that you are not and that it may be unwise if you continue to ignore the membership as you seem to be doing at the moment.

    You announced the statue, complete with duck, at the AGM when the Godfrey brothers were present, and there were no dissensions from either yourself or them.

    The appeal to the public was mounted on the assumption that the duck was part of the statue, yet you decided, with no further consultation to remove the duck from the statue. That was it. No consultation with the membership, no consultation with those that had contributed already.

    The fact that you are ignoring all the negative press that the Gresley Society is receiving in various publications is appalling. The good name of the Society is being dragged through the mud purely to appease the fragile egos of the Godfrey brothers, neither of whom were old enough to know anything about Sir Nigel while he was alive.

    May I remind you that it is the Gresley Society and NOT the Godfrey Society. The donations were made to ensure that the statue was erected as per the original macquette, Gresley, duck et al.

    May I also remind you that you are Chairman and as spokesman therefore representing the members and patently making a very bad job of it.

    It is a difficult thing to gain respect. The Gresley Society has, over the years, managed that and until this badly mishandled debacle, was a respected society. It is now almost a laughing stock and I am almost ashamed to admit I am a member.

    Many statues have additional items to explain the significance of the personage depicted. Bessie Braddock’s statue holds an egg in one hand, as she was the politician responsible for putting the lion standard mark on British eggs. Terence Cuneo’s statue has a mouse depicted and neither of these statues is ridiculed for that, in fact the additional items explain a little behind the careers of the people depicted. To say that a duck would detract from the dignity of Sir Nigel’s statue is at best a downright lie, as are the various reasonings that you have proffered to the press regarding the decision.

    Without the duck, it is just another statue that people will walk past without noticing. With the duck it is different, a talking point. NOT a matter for ridicule but something people will ask questions about and THAT can only be good for the Society.

    I suspect that this email will, like all the other comments, be ignored. That is the way of dictators and I would expect nothing different. However I will be attending the AGM where I will possibly be joined by other members. We are not at all happy at the way this has been handled and you may be well advised to reconsider what has been a very poor decision, an even poorer response to ANY criticism of it and the fact that you are unwilling, for whatever reason to upset the Godfrey brothers. If they are so upset about the inclusion of a duck on the statue then perhaps the Society is better off without them.

    I remain,


    Gavin R Whitelaw

    He is a high handed, kow-towing turncoat whom the Gresley Society would be well rid of!!

  2. After the recent outbursts of the Gresley Society’s Chairman, I do feel his position is now untenable and he should go.
    You don’t have to be a member of the society, to have an opinion on that.

  3. The call for Mackintosh to resign is not before time, long overdue perhaps. Better still, since he chooses to ignore the
    democratic wishes of the majority, maybe a coup-d’etat by Gresley Society members sympathetic to the cause would be
    more appropriate. A daft idea isn’t it, a ‘moment of madness’ perhaps? But the moment of madness took place when Mackintosh caved in to the demand of the Godfrey brothers, two control freaks who clearly care nothing about Sir Nigel Gresley or his achievements.. It’s been reported that they wish the trouser creases on the statue to be sharper, that they complained
    about Sir Nigel having a hand in a jacket pocket, it surprises me that they neglected to insist on his knighthood regalia/insignia
    being depicted on the statue. Mackintosh and especially the Godfreys are a disgrace, their every utterance instantly betrays
    the nature of their character. And these people have the nerve to suggest that the presence of the mallard at Sir Nigel’s feet
    would be demeaning to his memory. What a joke!

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