Published: 2nd May 2016
Most rail passengers will have heard of Mallard , Flying Scotsman and Aston Martin cars. Around 75 Aston Martins are expected to gather at Granary Square, Kings Cross on May 8 courtesy of the Aston Martin Owners Club.
These cars are iconic in their design and pedigree and represent power and timeless elegance, rather like Sir Nigel Gresley’s creation, the streamlined iconic record-breaking A4 class of steam locomotives. Sunday 8 May brings the chance to see these luxury cars and perhaps to see for the first time the bronze statue depicting Sir Nigel Gresley which has been unveiled in the Western concourse at Kings Cross.
Fifty members of the Aston Martin Owners Club will bring their cars to the King’s Boulevard and what is billed as ‘a special collection’ of 25 classic cars illustrating the five manufacturing eras of Aston Martin will also be on display in Granary Square.
The car owners will be on hand to discuss the finer aspects of owning an Aston Martin and to learn about the engineering and craftsmanship that goes into making this car. There will also be various Aston Martin linked activities at the event which is five minutes walk from Kings Cross and St Pancras stations.
The cars’ history will be illustrated with music performances linked to them accompanied by suitably costumed actors, including roller girls, and for younger car fans, a classic car treasure hunt. Vintage food is also promised so it promises to be a great event bordering the Regent’s Canal.
Anna Strongman Argent (King’s Cross), says,
‘We’re delighted to welcome the Aston Martin Owners Club to King’s Cross and are excited to see the best of British car design parked along King’s Boulevard and on Granary Square. This event, the first of many planned at King’s Cross over the summer, will be sure to impress the most ardent of car enthusiasts, as well as those looking to learn more as we relive five classic car design eras.’
The event is free to attend and will take place at King’s Cross, on Sunday 8 May, between 10am-4pm.
Trains run to Kings Cross from Scotland via Newcastle and the East Coast Main Line plus from East Anglia’s Kings Lynn, Cambridge and Stevenage. Thameslink services also operate from Brighton and the Kent coast to Kings Cross while St Pancras is served by stations from Sheffield via Leicester and Bedford so the event is easy to travel to by rail. Tickets and train times are all available on www.redspottedhanky.com
The unveiling of the long awaited memorial to the world-famous locomotive engineer, Sir Nigel Gresley took place in April in the western concourse at Kings Cross but without a trace of a Mallard duck. Many Gresley fans wanted a Mallard duck to be incorporated into the statue but it was decided against this.
Gresley was it seems, very keen on feeding Mallard ducks in his garden pond near Hertford, as well as shooting them. And in fact, he named one of his A4’s Mallard and as most will know, this engine achieved 126mph in 1938 claiming the World seam record, never surpassed.
But all may not be lost as the Gresley Society members could now be asked about adding a Mallard to the statue. The bronze Sir Nigel Gresley was unveiled while Class N2 No. 1744 (one of Gresleys steam locomotives) was brought into Kings Cross with a Gresley designed restaurant car No.7960. It had also been intended to bring A4 No. 60009 Union of South Africa into the station as well but was under repair so could not attend.
Gresley Society Chairman, David McIntosh is quoted as saying: “When we began to receive significant adverse comments on the presence of a duck at the feet of Sir Nigel from our President, all ten Vice-Presidents and senior officers at other related organisations, we quickly realised that we could not proceed without a careful re-appraisal of the project.
We are also aware that artistic opinion is by no means unanimous that a modern statue needs something ‘extra’ in order to attract attention. Equally we have never regarded small children as a target market for our work.
A special Council meeting was held at which it became clear that we faced a clear choice between either, respecting the clearly expressed reservations of colleagues, friends and long-term supporters whose opinions we respect, and amend the design or, risk a fundamental breech in our relationship with these key individuals. The outcome of our discussion was a unanimous decision, with two abstentions, to delete the mallard. Three Council members felt unable to accept this decision and decided to resign.