LATEST NEWS

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held at 2 pm on Saturday 28thOctober 2017 at  The Holiday Inn, St George’s Way, Stevenage, SG1 1HS.

 

Members attention is drawn to the opportunity to propose members for elections as trustees. All such nominations should be sent to the Charity’s registered office (TheGresley Society Trust, Ledgers, Chartered Certified Accountants, 40 The Village, Old Warden, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 9HQ) to arrive no later than Friday 01 September 2017. It would be helpful if a copy could also be sent by email to the Honorary Secretary ('Christopher Clark' cjbclark@btconnect.com).

 

Each nomination must include the following information:

 

Full name

Postal address

Date of birth and nationality

Date of entry as a member

Signed proposer and seconder with names and membership numbers

Signed confirmation from the person being proposed confirming their willingness and eligibility to stand and understanding of the Charity’s purpose (further guidance can be found on the Charity Commission website)

A factual statement not exceeding 200 words from the candidate describing themselves together with a current photograph of the candidate.

 

Papers will be posted to members in advance of the meeting.

 

 

 

Is Sir Nigel Gresley worthy of a statue?

Sir Nigel Gresley (1876-1941) was foremost among many eminent railway engineers in this country, and his influence in other countries was such that we can only regard him as world-famous.  He was highly imaginative and inventive.  His first patent, taken out on 2 January 1908, was for the articulation of railway vehicles, and this is still highly relevant today.  Articulation is used by railway and tramway vehicles of all kinds, and this makes Sir Nigel unique among his contemporaries.  It is reason enough to regard him as a great engineer.

More than that, he was inventive in many aspects of locomotive design.  All of his  locomotives and carriages were blessed with a cleanliness and elegance of line: even his largest goods locomotive was impeccably handsome.   The smaller suburban locomotives, and those built for branch lines, all had the characteristic purity of Gresley line.  

The elegance of Gresley’s locomotives was seized upon by the advertising department of the LNER at King’s Cross.  In particular they appeared on posters, in booklets, timetables, luggage labels - anywhere that the LNER could take advantage of their modern looks.  The speed of some of the passenger types attracted much attention from writers on locomotive performance, and thanks to the LNER’s enlightened policy of issuing lineside permits to trusted photographers, Gresley locomotives were well represented in magazines and books.  

Some of his trains may rightly be regarded as amongst the most beautiful ever built, and had features that made them stand out as works of great design.   The LNER streamline trains introduced the idea of the fixed-formation express train: this is still with us today, as is at-seat dining, with no need for a separate dining car.  

It is for all of these reasons that Sir Nigel Gresley should be commemorated by a statue: few enough are the memorials to truly great railway pioneers such as the Stephensons, Joseph Locke, and others.  Now, in the statue of Gresley at King’s Cross we are to celebrate a twentieth century engineer of the highest standing.  There can be no question that, among the nation’s engineers, he fully deserves it, and indeed in a country not well known for revering its engineers, it is long overdue.