Becca Jane St Clair

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What the Duck? Quackers over Sir Nigel Gresley’s Missing Duck

So, yesterday, we were interviewed by the BBC South East Today.



To make a long story that’s not my story short — A statue was created of Sir Nigel Gresley and he was to have a mallard duck at his feet to commemorate his love of birds and as a nod to one of his most famous engines – Mallard. Family members of Gresley opposed the duck, so a petition was started by the Gresley Society to reinstate the duck.

This all leads up to the unveiling yesterday at London King’s Cross and a faceboook post made by my friend M. He wanted to get a group together to show support for the Gresley Society and the sculptress by bringing along ducks. Well, how could we refuse?

#givenigeladuck #sirnigelgresley #sirnigelwantsaduck @gresleyduck #Hamish #ducksoninstagram

A photo posted by Rebecca L (@beccajanestclair) on

As it turned out, our ducks made quite a stir with the press there to cover the event. Because we were peacefully standing on the mezzanine just waving and squeaking our ducks, no one minded that we were there, and in fact, lots of people told us they liked the ducks and wanted the duck with the statue! Hamish (and his friends) have had their picture taken sitting on Sir Nigel’s newspaper by mane people, including the press. While Hamish did not make it into the newspapers (and really, wouldn’t it have been better to have a Scottish duck?), one of the other ducks I brought and gave to my friend Han did:


Our picture has now accompanied articles all over the place!

BBC – ‘Deamining’ Duck Absent from Sir Nigels Statue
ITV – Rail engineer statue unveiled… but lack of duck ruffles a few feathers
The Daily Mail – Feathers are ruffled as statue is unveiled of genius behind world’s fastest steam train the Mallard – WITHOUT a duck at his feet
Yorkshire Post – Nigel Gresley statue unveiled at King’s Cross – and he’s out for a duck
Edinburgh Evening News: Sir Nigel Gresley statue ruffles Mallard fans’ feathers

and the Times:

(It’s a subscription service, so could someone who subscribes get me screenshots?)

And, well, it looks like people are still leaving ducks there!

We had a great day. Our little group had 6-7 people, but we kept meeting other people who had brought ducks as well! After, we all headed to the Parcel Yard for a much deserved pint.

#hamish #ducksoninstagram #givenigeladuck

A photo posted by Rebecca L (@beccajanestclair) on

If I find more links or photos, I’ll be adding them to this post. I still have to unload my camera too and see what other people in our group managed to take. If you spot me or the ducks on another site, please let me know!

Photo credits when the photo was not mine or embedded:

1 – Screencap from the BBC SE Today, capped by Dave Rudderham
2 – Press Assoiation
3 – BBC
4 – Rob Bough

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