Mallard naming ceremony

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Mallard naming ceremony

Post by maryann » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:05 pm

My Great uncle was Driver Fred Sleaford, from Conisbrough in S.Yorkshire. We have a lovely photo' of him from the local paper, at ?Sheffield station, having driven the 10,000, the "Hush Hush" from the Doncaster Carriage Works to its naming ceremony. He said that there was great curiosity about the engine, because, knowing that it was No 10,000, people in the works assumed it would be something special and used to say "Oh, it's all hush hush!"
My Aunt, his daughter always told us that he also took The Mallard to its naming ceremony but I am unable to find out whether this is true. He was certainly a driver of Mallard and Scotsman and many other famous engines. During the war, he drove from somewhere in the north and was told that he had a very special passenger. On reaching Kings Cross, General Eisenhower came to the engine to shake the hands of the crew and thank them for the smooth ride. He met Sir Nigel Gresley on many occasions and always commented on what a gentleman he was.
Can anyone tell me whether there is a record of the Mallard naming ceremony and whether Uncle Fred was the driver. Photographs would be wonderful but of course at the beginning, Mallard was just another engine and its illustrious future was still to come.

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Re: Mallard naming ceremony

Post by JASd17 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:31 pm

Whilst I do not doubt your great uncle could have driven 10000, the 'Hush-Hush' , he cannot have driven it to a naming ceremony, because it was never officially named in either form.

I cannot help with the Mallard naming. Being from Conisbrough, did he work out of Doncaster shed?



Re: Mallard naming ceremony

Post by 2512silverfox » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:59 am

I agree with John about No 10,000 which was never given an official name but was know as 'the hush hush'.

I rather doubt that Mallard had an official naming ceremony since it was one of a number of wild fowl named locos, and just happened to be the loco which was selected for the speed record run. The locos named after the Empire constituents were given naming ceremonies with the relevant dignitaries present; viz Sir Vincent Massey etc.,

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Re: Mallard naming ceremony

Post by STAFFORDA4 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:37 pm

Regarding the Hush-Hush I have a feeling this may have been a publicity shot for the loco possibly attending a LNER exhibition.
My late friend, Willie Yeadon, researched such events and I helped locate press articles for him on a couple of occasions in the 80s.
He was compiling for his own personal enjoyment a file entitled "Grand Parade" and I'm pleased to say this appears to have survived and is mentioned in the archives per my link herewith (pages 19 & 20 Archive Catalogue PDF) ... ogue/U-DYE

Let's hope this throws some light on 10000 and Fred's day of fame.

Sadly I have no record of any of the bird named A4s having any naming ceremony.
Good Luck .Eric

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Re: Mallard naming ceremony

Post by silverfox » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:27 pm


I recall Willie doing a talk entitled 'Grand Parade' at the GN hotel Kings Cross in the 80/90's and was about the LNER exhibitions over the years


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Re: Mallard naming ceremony

Post by maryann » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:48 pm

Pleased to say that I have found more information among family papers on the occasion where my Uncle Fred Sleaford was pictured in front of the "Hush Hush" I found the original newspaper cutting with the following comment "Hush Hush, No 10,000, one of the attractions at the Railway Exhibition held at Sheffield yesterday. There were several other photos including a Doncaster drawing office photo of engine 511 "Airborne", and one of 525 A.H. Peppercorn with a line up of ? carriage work staff and crew.

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