Iconic A4 Mallard to return to Grantham
By: Chris Milner
World speed record holder, A4 No. 4468 Mallard, is being prepared to return to Grantham, 75 years after achieving 126mph on Stoke bank, south of the town, on July 3, 1938.
Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to Grantham over the weekend of September 7/8 for celebrations that will see the iconic loco displayed close to the railway station. The last time that Mallard was in Grantham was 50 years ago when in BR service.
The event is receiving world-wide interest and for the event a partnership involving the National Railway Museum, South Kesteven District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Carillion Rail (who will re-lay the track), East Coast and Network Rail has been formed.
Special permission has been granted by the NRM for Mallard to leave its home in York - only the second time this has happened in recent years.
Mallard will be joined by other historic exhibits as part of a free East Coast ‘Story of Speed’ display, giving visitors a close-up view of the steam icon, as well as a chance to view a ‘Deltic’ locomotive – Mallard’s high speed diesel successor.
Also on display will be streamlined racing cars of the 1930s inspired by the Mallard design, and examples of Grantham’s engineering heritage.
An exhibition will track how Britain's first high speed railway was created against international competition.
There will also be miniature train rides, vintage bus travel and local heritage society displays as well as children’s rides and local food.
Coun Frances Cartwright from South Kesteven District Council said: “The festival underlines Grantham’s brilliant location on the UK’s fastest north-south rail route and emphasises the wider economic opportunities for businesses looking to relocate to Lincolnshire with its rich engineering heritage.”
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