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The Gresley Society Trust’s Facebook page announced the removal of the mallard from the statue on 9.3.14.

Steam Railway’s Facebook page post on 9.3.15 prompted many pro-duck comments: Do you think the statue of Sir Nigel Gresley planned for King’s Cross in 2016 should be accompanied by a mallard?

As did Heritage Railway Magazine’s on 14.3.15: THE DUCK IS DROPPED FROM GRESLEY STATUE!!! The family of the man who designed the world’s fastest steam locomotive thought the Mallard duck was ridiculous! Sir Nigel Gresley kept wild fowl at his home and named several of his A4s after them.

Letter in the Times 31.3.15 from Jon Turner which begins..

Sir, Three influential Gresley Society Trust members have resigned in protest, after some of its members and two of Gresley’s relatives vetoed the proposed “Sir Nigel Gresley with Duck” statue by Hazel Reeves at King’s Cross station going ahead unless its duck element is removed.

The protesters have my fullest sympathy, as it is an inspirational addition…

31.3.15 Vanessa Feltz radio show on BBC London had an hour long phone-in about the removal of the mallard. Ms Feltz said:

Which is the statue that you are going to take your grandchildren to see; which is the statue that you will make a pilgrimage to see; which is the statue that you will take a picture of yourself next to: the one with the duck or the one without it?  I’m 100% pro-duck.


Tom Whipple article in the Times 1.4.15 (below)

CBfh2NBWYAAiuOv article 1.4.15 Duck ditched from statue of steam train designer

Yorkshire Post article 1.4.15 Duck trouble settled in bid to honour rail legend

More pro-duck comments by Heritage Railway Magazine’s Facebook page readers on 1.4.15: Duck ditched from statue of steam-train designer 

Burton Mail article 3.4.15 Statue of famous rail engineer Sir Nigel Gresley sparks row over inclusion of a duck

Letters in the Times 3.4.15 (below)


Letter in the Times 7.4.15:

Sir, I live in the house where Sir Nigel Gresley retired  and village history recounts: “The river Beane flowed through the large garden, and the most important thing was to make a safe and wired-off river bank enclosure to protect the area from foxes, before transferring his large family of ducks from the moat to their new river home.”

Gerry Howard
Watton at Stone, Herts


Paul Routledge in the Mirror 10.4.14 Duck Feat of Clay

Burton Mail article 13.4.15 Petition for mallard to remain on statue of South Derbyshire engineer

Northern Echo article 14.4.15 Out for a duck

Letter in the York Press 14.4.15:

I was saddened to read that the family of Sir Nigel Gresley do not wish to see a mallard depicted on his statue to be unveiled at King’s Cross Station (Mallard duck ditched on rail statue, The Press, April 2).

When I go up to King’s Cross to admire the statue, I will console myself with seeing the duck in my mind’s eye and shall think of it as a “malade imaginaire”.

Steve Hayes, Wains Grove, Dringhouses, York.


Nigel Devereux’s editorial in the Railway Magazine Ruffling a few feathers at King’s Cross 21.4.15

Rail Announcement April 2015 (p11) Gresley Society Gets in Flap Over Duck

Doncaster Free Press 29.4.15 Calls to return bronze duck to statue of Doncaster rail pioneer Sir Nigel Gresley

Camden New Journal 30.4.15 Dead duck? Protests as Mallard is axed from rail engineer’s statue

Derby Telegraph 30.4.15 Statue of Gresley with mallard is an inoffensive and worthy tribute

Derby Telegraph 30.4.15 ‘Save the mallard’ petition on Sir Nigel Gresley statue nears 1,000 signatures

1.5.15 BBC Radio 4 Today (08:50): A row over a duck has threatened to derail the unveiling of a statue of a famous locomotive designer. The statue to rail engineer Sir Nigel Gresley, who designed the Mallard locomotive as well as the Flying Scotsman, was to have also featured a duck next to the eminent engineer. But Sir Nigel’s family, and others, felt the duck detracted from the dignity of the statue which is due to be unveiled at King’s Cross station in London on April 5 2016 – the 75th anniversary of Sir Nigel’s death. Now the duck has been removed from the planned sculpture but hundreds have signed a petition to bring it back. Libby Ranzetta set up a petition to bring back the duck. Listen again here (at 2:51:18)

Grantham Matters 1.5.15 Love a duck – Big controversy over Grantham’s favourite loco

CityMetric 1.5.15 Hundreds of people are demanding that a statue of a British railway engineer comes with his own duck

Tim Godrey (Gresley’s elder grandson) speaks his mind to the Scotsman 1.5.15 Design dispute over memorial to rail pioneer Sir Nigel Gresley

2.5.15 Leader in the Scotsman Don’t ditch the duck

May’s Heritage Railway magazine had this ‘star letter’ from reader Mike Pinder:heritagerailwaystarlettergif

South Yorkshire Times 11.5.15 Duck call for rail tribute 

May’s Railway Magazine had these three pro-mallard letters

2015-05-16 09.01.37


andrew dowThe Times, 21.5.15 Full page obituary of Andrew Dow, Gresley Society Vice Chairman who lead the statue project and resigned over the decision to remove the mallard.

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Pro-mallard letters in May’s Steam Railway magazinesrletters2












1.6.15 Andrew Dow obituary in the Telegraph

Burton Mail 1.6.15 Sir Nigel Gresley statue petition gathers pace article quotes Chris Nettleton, Gresley Society Membership Secretary, talking about the Society’s ‘code of secrecy’

Burton Mail 18.7.15 Artists and writers back campaign to keep mallard on statue of Sir Nigel Gresley

Steam Railway July/August, in depth article by David Wilcock So much for the Gresley legacy


Burton Mail 17.9.15 Mounting tensions over statue of ‘Gresley’s duck’ for famous South Derbyshire engineer

Grantham Target 31.7.15 Fight to save Mallard duck on Gresley statue goes viral

times letter lrLetter in the Times 22.9.15 The new statue of the locomotive engineer Sir Nigel Gresley may yet feature his beloved mallard, campaigners believe

Ham&High 2.10.15 Fight for duck to be put back in Sir Gresley statue

The Independent 12.10.15 Duck fanciers fight for the legacy of Sir Nigel Gresley, the man behind the Mallard

i100 12.10.15 ‘Unbalanced duck fanatics’ accused of ruining a statue at London’s King’s Cross train station including a reader’s poll that took 3,500 votes in two days and which showed 94% in favour of keeping the mallard

The Wright Stuff, Channel 5, 12.10.15 (48 minutes in)

Jeremy Vine Show, BBC Radio 2, 14.10.15

“I would have thought, you have got to have the statue with the duck. If someone does a statue of me in a hundred years time, I want a duck in the statue, no question at all.” Jeremy Vine

The Star 14.10.15 Quackers fight as Sir Nigel Gresley duck statue row escalates

Daily Mail 15.10.15 How a duck got railway buffs steamed up

daily mail 15.10.15 (Copy)

Burton Mail 19.10.15 Support for the Gresley duck is gathering steam

Ian Jack in the Guardian Duck and cover: there’s no row like a railway enthusiasts’ row 16.1.16

Letters in the Times, 27, 28, 29, 30th January 2016

james dow lettter1 (Copy)

times 2.2.15 Times article Feathers fly in row over statue with (or without) a duck 2.2.16

vaness feltz2.2.16 Vanessa Feltz Show, BBC Radio London – phone in and interviews

Telegraph Train lovers in a flap about statue with a duck 2.2.16

Letter in the Times 3.2.16 duck flap times 3.2








Camden New Journal We haven’t forgotten Sir Nigel Gresley’s duck 4.2.16

Third Sector Charity Commission gets involved in row over duck in statue of Mallard engineer 5.2.16 Here’s an extract:
“The Charity Commission is looking into a charity set up to honour the memory of the engineer Sir Nigel Gresley amid a row over whether a statue of him should include a duck.
The regulator said it was examining complaints about the annual general meeting of the Gresley Society Trust, which has commissioned a statue of the steam engineer at King’s Cross station in London to mark the 75th anniversary of his death.
A commission spokesman confirmed it had received complaints about the AGM.
“Disputes within charities are a matter for the trustees to resolve and not a matter for the commission,” he said.
“However, in light of the alleged comment that the charity might have admitted the elections might have breached charity law, we have contacted the trustees to ask for their comments about the process around the elections and AGM.””

Burton Mail Bitter row over statue of South Derbyshire engineer Sir Nigel Gresley escalates 5.2.16

Observer Memorial to man who made the Mallard runs into row over a duck 7.2.16

Daily Mail Bizarre row erupts after duck was axed from sculpture celebrating British steam train designer – who named his engine after the mallards he fed in his garden 7.2.16

Northern Echo Statue of limitations, there’s outrage that the bird has flown 9.2.16

Camden New Journal Charity Commission called in as row over King’s Cross duck statue rumbles on 11.2.16

HR feb 16Heritage Railway Magazine 212 Feb 16 212

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