For 52-year-old Matt, from Sprotbrough, seeing the famous steam loco Mallard is a moving experience, as it is the closest thing he has to a memorial to the world record holding great grandfather he never met.
Matt’s great grandfather was Joe Duddington – the man who drove the famous steam engine at 126mph when it set the world speed record in 1938.
Joe died in 1953 – and his body lies in an unmarked grave at Hyde Park Cemetery, Doncaster. The Doncaster Free Press is campaigning with Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery for a memorial headstone there to mark his achievement.
Until recently, Matt, a sales manager at a car dealership, did not know where his great grandad was buried. He is grateful to research from the friends group for finding the plot.
"To know where he is buried is massive for me,” he said. “I thought there was nothing to remember him by in Doncaster, the man who was hand picked for the record breaking run.
"If it hadn’t been for the man on the footplate having the guts to do it, the record may not have happened. If it hadn’t been for him, no one would have heard of Mallard.
“We have always been proud of him, and it brings a tear to my eye to see Mallard, and to have sat where he sat on the footplate. For me, it’s a very emotional thing.
"He died in 1953, so all I have is stories from my grandmother, The story was that for him, it was just a day at the office – driving trains was his job. There must be other relatives I’m not in touch with who are equally proud. I’m Doncaster born and bred, as was he. I think we should be very proud that he came from Doncaster.”
Former Woodfield primary and Balby Carr comprehensive pupil Matt added: “When I was at school, if ever asked if there was something interesting about myself I could tell the others, it was that my great granddad was a train driver and is in the Guinness Book of Records. People had heard of Mallard.
"But he was the driver. Everyone knows of Donald Campbell and Bluebird. It should be the same with Joseph Duddington and Mallard. I felt he should have some sort of recognition."
The Free Press photographed Matt on his first visit to the site of his great grandfather’s grave, which he admits he found moving. His grave was never discussed during his childhood.
He is backing the campaign.
“It means a lot to see the Free Press backing this,” he said. “It is Doncaster’s newspaper, so it is touching.
"My grandfather was never bothered about publicity. But we all should be proud that it’s someone from Doncaster who set that record.”
We are looking to help the Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery raise an initial £2,000 to pay for a memorial with stories over the coming weeks. Anything raised beyond that will be used to help further explain what Joe did.
Log onto www.fohpc.org.uk/duddington to donate.