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The Sir Nigel Gresley

Read about one of the great railway engineers.

Market Street, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, DE11 0AD
This pub is named after the famous railway engineer. As a small boy, Gresley lived at Netherseal village, four miles south of Swadlincote, where his father was rector of St Peter’s Church.

Photographs and text about Sir Nigel Gresley CBE.


The text reads: Sir Nigel Gresley was one of the foremost railway engineers of this country. He was born in Edinburgh on 19 June 1876; his father was the last of a line of five rectors from the parish of Nethersal.
James I created the Gresley baronetcy, but their forbears can be traced back to William the Conqueror.

Gresley was educated at Marlborough College, and later took up an engineering apprenticeship at Crewe. He held increasingly responsible positions with several railway companies, before being placed in charge of locomotives, carriages and wagons for the Great Northern Railway in 1911.

In 1923 he became chief mechanical engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway where he developed the famous Pacific locomotives, the culmination of which was the prestigious streamlined express engines.

He was president of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers in 1927 and 1934 and also of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in 1936.

In 1920 he was appointed CBE and knighted in 1930. He and his wife Ethel are buried beneath the Boscabel Oak in Nethersal, amongst the Gresley family.

Photographs and text about the locomotive Mallard.


The text reads: Locomotive Class A4 No. 4468 Mallard at Belle Isle, leaving King’s Cross. Mallard holds the world record for steam traction of 126mph attained on the 3 July 1938 on Stoke Bank between Grantham and Peterborough. The record has never been broken and it is unlikely that it will ever be bettered in the future. The speed limit on the Stoke Bank at the time of the record was 90mph!

Photographs of locomotives.


Top: Locomotive Class A4 No. 4489 Dominican of Canada at the naming ceremony, with Sir Nigel Gresley and the honourable Vincent Massey, Canadian high commissioner.

Middle: Locomotive Class A4 No. 2509 Silver Link at Belle Isle on the 5.30pm King’s Cross – Newcastle Silver Jubilee on 18 June 1937.

Bottom: Locomotive Class A4 No. 2509 Silver Link at King’s Cross Shed, 1935. Believed to be on the day on which it was delivered from Doncaster.

Memorabilia for the locomotives and Sir Nigel Gresley.



External photograph of the building – main entrance.


If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk