Making plans for Nigel.....

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S.A.C. Martin
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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by S.A.C. Martin » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:30 am

The duck is important to the overall history of Sir Nigel Gresley and enriches his story more than it detracts from it.

Not just for the wildfowl connection, or the names of the trains.

It is a well known fact that Gresley received a telegram from a wife of an LNER colleague who wrote simply "LMS out for a duck" in response to the news that Mallard had broken the British (and LMS held) steam record and of course the world record too.

The choice of names for the new A4s (which were not primarily in charge of the Silver Jubilee or Coronation trains) was down to Gresley and his team and the result was a fine selection of bird names including some of the ones he cultivated at his family home - and yes, he had a hand in these.

That Tim Godfrey is genuinely a duck farmer leads me to wonder if he is actually aware of the bird connections in his father's locomotive history.

Not to mention the excellent choice contrast and British bloody mindedness of a mallard being faster than the eagle of Nazi Germany.

I've always felt a great film could be made from railway stories, and Mallard's speed record and that behind it would make a very interesting point of view given the build up to war in Europe happening around the same time.

silverfox
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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by silverfox » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:15 am

Richard,


did you attend the AGM last november at Keen House?

Ron

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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by JASd17 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:16 am

Post deleted.

John

MidlandExcursion
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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by MidlandExcursion » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:12 pm

mick b wrote:
richard wrote:Yes I'm a member. I haven't seen the facebook pages,etc but I thought the comments in the Observer explained the reasons - basically the family objected (decorum and all that).

The thing is, if there was never a duck in the first place, nobody would be in the least bit bothered!

Personally I think the duck trivialises things. One locomotive, albeit his most famous. If there has to be something, why not a model A3 or A4 - perhaps he could be holding it?

Most people won't know who Gresley was, a few might realise the Duck might be a Mallard, perhaps then they might even remember the Train. As to holding a A3 or A4 Locomotive model , sadly even more would be clueless as to who he was. The statue is about 70 years too late, virtually everybody alive in his time are now sadly gone as well.

Personally I think the Duck would have been a good idea, at least it has a novelty value and as a result the public would actually look at who the statue honours.
I think the duck was an absolutely brilliant idea. It would have made the statue 'different'. It would have made people think: why is there a duck in this statue? - and encouraged a few to find out.

By doing so, it would have meant a few people would have found out a little about HNG, Mallard and all that was going on. And IMO THAT is what a statue should do - stimulate people into finding out why people put it up in the first place.

silverfox
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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by silverfox » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:38 pm

Richard
you have only read what the politbureau want you to read. Personally i think the Chairman is making OUR society a bloody laughing stock with some of his nasty comments and also Godfreys comments elsewhere ( links can be given)
If you need to know a bit more look on the facebook page for the Gresley Society for my open letter to him. Not that i suppose he has read it, after all anybody who writes to him gets a standard lalalalala fingers in ears politicians type reply
If you and any other Gresley members feel that he is doing the Society a disservice can you pm me. PLEASE NOTE, this has NOTHING to do with being pro or anti a duck at all. It is how the Society is being portrayed in the media by him. i like the statue BUT i Like it even more with the duck as ALL the Commitee AND the 'Eunuchs' ( the Pres and 8 VPs) did at the AGM ( I call tthem Eunuchs as when our referees group asked some eminent US officials to take the offices that they likened themselves to Eunuchs in a brothel in that they saw all and knew all but cant join in! ) anyway, as i see it two people started throwing their toys out of the pram and in my opinion overstepped their position. By taking advantage of the bloodline they possibly coersed th committee and Vps to change their mind, it is the only rational explanation i can think of. godfrey t, has a very short memory, as does the chairman, and another committee member has giving the press one explanation and me one that is completely opposite. It is a complete mess.

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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by Horsetan » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:01 am

S.A.C. Martin wrote:.....That Tim Godfrey is genuinely a duck farmer leads me to wonder if he is actually aware of the bird connections in his father's locomotive history.

Not to mention the excellent choice contrast and British bloody mindedness of a mallard being faster than the eagle of Nazi Germany.....
It sounds like he couldn't give a duck. There seem to be quite a few in the Society who would lean politically towards the aforementioned eagle than a duck.

silverfox
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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by silverfox » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:42 pm

Could Mcintosh be losing the plot ?

Look in Steam Railway 244 where he says ( and please be aware that i failed O level English and will cede to those more informed)

We will only take notice of those who have subscibed to the statue......

A fair point which and as it is said in the present and future tense, implies that if a majority of subscribers require the duck to be included they must have their views considered.

BUT a few lines further on this person then says even it we wanted to we couldnt change our minds WTF is he talking about? So why did he say that surely if he should have said we HAVE taken notice.. no doubt he will still be out there cap in hand wanting more cash
And later on blames the three man design committee for all of this EXCEPT the council wanted to keep the design secret until planning permission had been obtained. As i was told, it would have been silly to tell the terrible twosome ( my description of of the godfreys) before it was all cut and dried, AND as i am lead to believe a design must be submitted to gain the necessary approval Council decided to keep it under wraps as to not raise anyones hopes should it fail at one of the three stages.. approval by Camden Coucil, English Heritage and Network rail

so he is now twisting history to suit himself ..... What is this man on?
Last edited by silverfox on Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by harvester » Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:32 pm

As always SAC Martin in his comment of the " Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:30 am" makes a very worthwhile and valid point.

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S.A.C. Martin
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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by S.A.C. Martin » Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:41 pm

Most kind. Thank you. :)

I just do not understand the reaction to the duck, at all. It is as symbolic and important as the man alongside it because it directly references the man and his interests and how they spanned all of his interests.

I've already related the above points but further research has reminded me just how many of the A4s - and later Peppercorn A1s of course - are named after birds and directly as a result of Gresley's interest in them. I don't believe - and it has never been suggested - that Sir Nigel was an ornithologist or interested in ornithology, but the wildfowl connection is part of his appeal and certainly in Mallard herself the legend is cemented.

I do think the fact that the Godfreys are relatives is entirely beside the point - both being too young when Gresley died to remember him or to have met him at all - and that their wishes and the way they've gone about it appear rather underhand and particularly aggressive - neither of which is necessary.

The way the Gresley Society continues to deal with the matter astonishes me and does not endear me or anyone from outside the railway community looking in to them.

They should take more notice of public opinion as the more they continue to court it with passive aggressive and sometimes wilfully revisionist commentary in the railway magazines (and I notice, in a few newspapers online) the more they will turn general opinion against them. It takes years to build a reputation and seconds of madness to destroy it.

I never saw the duck as another other than a very thoughtful, very well presented link to Gresley's overall story and of course directly referencing Mallard herself.

However if I may - I have always felt that the LNER society should have had a statue made at King's Cross. The statue should have commemorated all of the LNER's CMEs - Gresley, Thompson and Peppercorn - with appropriate signage and explanation of their work and efforts towards the railway company, particularly Gresley's work pre-war for both GNR and LNER, Thompson's work during the height of the war years, and Peppercorn's last hurrah in the superb A1.

The statue should have had busts of all three, and perhaps their most evocative locomotives - A4, B1 and A1 - and a reminder of the railwaymen who served under them and the efforts they went into making the LNER what it was, and in the loss of life the railway and its constituents suffered during two world wars.

That would have been a statue worth seeing.

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richard
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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by richard » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:33 pm

silverfox: As I live in the US, AGMs are a bit far to attend!

Steam Railway also aren't the most reliable source - I wouldn't be surprised if they have edited things to suit their own agenda (deliberately provoke controversy in order to sell more magazines) - it wouldn't be the first time. Sadly the UK newstand steam heritage magazines are little more than tabloids.
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S.A.C. Martin
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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by S.A.C. Martin » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:07 pm

richard wrote:Steam Railway also aren't the most reliable source - I wouldn't be surprised if they have edited things to suit their own agenda (deliberately provoke controversy in order to sell more magazines) - it wouldn't be the first time. Sadly the UK newstand steam heritage magazines are little more than tabloids.
Normally I would agree with you Richard. However The Railway Magazine has reported something very similar and Nick Pigott is hardly in the business of reporting things in the way that few of the others do.

You cannot deny that the approach to the whole duck issue has been rather odd and with a lot of very overly aggressive phrasing going around. Tim Godfrey was actively quoted as having called the duck "a stupid duck" and a number of other accusations towards the design of the statue.

There's also the more mainstream media who've been surprisingly forgiving in their descriptions and still the overall picture is a negative one not helped by the manner in which the whole story has broken cover.

I think was was needed the moment the Godfreys expressed their displeasure with the duck was for an independent adjudicator to look into the whole business and perhaps talk out the whole thing with all sides. A way of being able to bring understanding to all sides through communicating exactly why there was an issue.

That opportunity has been lost and as a result many people are unhappy - no doubt the sculpter privately too - and the statue itself has lost something of its mystique that other statues - Sir John Betjemen's at St Pancras for example - have which allows for further intrigue and interest from the general public.

It's a shame.

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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by Horsetan » Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:42 pm

S.A.C. Martin wrote: ...It takes years to build a reputation and seconds of madness to destroy it...
This is a particularly British speciality, best examples being British Leyland (and Rover later on), Ratner's....

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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by silverfox » Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:23 pm

Horsetan and SAC.
It was put to me this evening that the chairmans comments about the 2000 plus people who have signed the petition, that they have no interest in Sir Nigel...some inside knowledge that is....... he has possibly alienated a possible 2000 potential members of the Gresley society, as well as others who look upon his various comments as 'weird' to say the least.

silverfox
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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by silverfox » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:00 pm

Read his letter in the latest issue of Heritage Railway

Whilst a Mallard is considered 'degrading' to him and the Bros Godfrey. They are making plans for a talking statue.

So that is not degrading ? how do these people work that one out.

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S.A.C. Martin
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Re: Making plans for Nigel.....

Post by S.A.C. Martin » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:24 am

Just to clarify and perhaps provide a little balance - a "Talking statue" doesn't actually talk. It has a "QR code" on the base or on the statue that people can scan with their smart phones in order to bring up a video through the internet on their phone which will "talk".

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