Rail engineer statue unveiled... but lack of duck ruffles a few feathers
A statue of a famous locomotive designer has been unveiled - without a controversial duck.
Sir Nigel Gresley designed the Doncaster-built Flying Scotsman and the Mallard locomotive steam engines.
The bronze sculpture of the rail engineer was originally due to feature a duck next to the eminent engineer, but the bird was missing when the statue was unveiled at London King's Cross station on the 75th anniversary of Sir Nigel's death because his family, and others, were not keen on its inclusion.
More than 3,200 people signed a petition which called for the duck to be reinstated, claiming it would spark interest in the engineer's achievements.
But the Gresley Society Trust, which commissioned the statue, confirmed last year that it would not be included.
Around 200 people gathered on the concourse at King's Cross to catch a first glimpse of the finished sculpture, which was unveiled by members of the Gresley family and Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy.
John Cameron, president of the Gresley Society, told the crowd:
Born in 1876, Sir Nigel became chief mechanical engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway. His Flying Scotsman was the first steam locomotive to exceed 100mph in service, while the Mallard achieved a then world-record speed of 126mph in 1938.
Sir Nigel was knighted for his career achievements in 1936.
He died at home unexpectedly on April 5 1941 at the age of 64.
The statue shows him holding a copy of The Locomotive magazine, which carries a description of Mallard.
In a speech to mark its unveiling, Sir Peter said:
The sculptor, Hazel Reeves, said her work shows Sir Nigel "in a moment of quizzical reflection", adding, "he's looking out towards the future."