This is a guest post written by Associate Curator of Rail Vehicles Bob Gwynne.
‘My grandad, (or sometimes my dad) used to drive Mallard’, is not infrequently heard from visitors to the National Railway Museum. For a change though we were recently contacted by someone whose grandfather had been based at Fleetwood shed and whose loco had been LMS ‘Crab’ no. 2700. He sent through a photograph of his grandfather taken in 1938 in the cab having discovered that this locomotive was now on display at the National Railway Museum in its earlier livery as LMS 13000.
As a young child his grandad had offered to take him out for a run down the line. Today he still remembers how as a child he had been scared by the heat, steam, noise and the strangeness of the footplate and how he’d turned the offer down. Today, of course he would pay good money to have a ride in a time machine so he could accept the offer.
The request for access to the cab of the loco, which is in the Station Hall was an easy one to accommodate, although there was no one to stand in for the anonymous fireman. Hopefully his 95 year old mother will enjoy seeing the result!