How hopelessly dim-witted – for Gresley to go without his duck

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Guardian journalist Ian Jack made a thoughtful addition to the thousands of words written about the great Gresley statue debate, in an article entitled Duck and cover: there’s no row like a railway enthusiasts’ row published on 16th January.

The whole thing is well worth a read (as are the comments at the end), but here’s Ian Jack’s conclusion:

Sometimes during my short investigation of this story, I thought of how it might suit a dark Ealing comedy such as Kind Hearts and Coronets: Gresley was from the cadet branch of the family, which meant that after he was knighted in 1936 there were two Sir Nigel Gresleys, the other being the baronet. At other times I thought of Marcel Varnel’s Oh, Mr Porter!: the first scene, in which men in top hats and ladies in fine dresses have gathered to name one of Gresley’s streamliners and Will Hay’s clumsiness nearly drowns them all in a flood of misdirected engine-water.

But mainly what I thought was how sad and stupid it would be – how hopelessly dim-witted – for Gresley to go without his duck.


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