Mallard 85th anniversary marked with cab trip for relative of record breaking Doncaster driver
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It was on 3 July 1938, that the A4 class locomotive Mallard raced down Stoke Bank between Grantham and Peterborough at 126mph to set a new steam locomotive world speed record.
Doncaster’s Joe Duddington was at the controls on that historic day – and the record still stands.
And to mark the anniversary, LNER invited Joe’s great-grandson Matthew Delaney for a trip in the driver’s cab of an LNER Azuma train to experience the journey his great grandfather made in 1938.
The family of Sir Nigel Gresley, who designed the A4 class of locomotive when he was Chief Engineer at LNER, were also invited on the special journey with Ben Godfrey, his grandson and Nina Britten, his great granddaughter attending and each enjoying a short journey in the train cab.
The families made a journey from York to London King’s Cross.
Joe was hand-picked for the record run as an experienced and trusted driver by Sir Nigel.
He retired from the LNER in 1944, and died in April 1953, aged 76.
He lived around the Hyde Park area throughout his life, but later moved to Dunscroft, living on Broadway.
In 2021, a headstone for Mr Duddington was unveiled in Hyde Park Cemetery, honouring his life and achievements after it was discovered that he was laid in an unmarked grave.