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Home> News> Famous Doncastrians>

Doncaster News and Features: Famous Doncastrian: Joseph Duddington

Joe Duddington, was the Doncaster-born LNER engine driver that broke the world speed record in 1938 with Doncaster Train A4 Pacific No. 4468 Mallard. It is a record never beaten by any other steam locomotive.

He said on camera afterwards:

"With my lovely blue streamlined engine Mallard, we drew away from Grantham. I accelerated up the back to Stoke Summit an' passed Stoke Box at eighty five. Once over the top, I gave Mallard her head, and she jumped to it like a live thing!

Then, 'Undred 'n eight. 'Undred an' nine. 'Undred an' ten.

"Go on, old Girl", I thought. "You can do better 'n this!" So I nursed 'er, and shot through little Bytham at 'Undred an' twenty three. And in the next one an' quarter 'mile, the needle crept up further.

'Undred twenty three and 'alf. Undred twenty fower. 'Undred twenty five. An' then for quarter of a mile, while they tell me the folks in th' car 'eld their breaths... 'Undred twenty six mile per hour. One 'undred n'twenty six? Tha' wus th' fastest a steam locomotive 'ad ever been driven in th' world."


The Blue Streak saw the handpicked Duddington along with fireman Tommy Bray, set off from Doncaster to Peterbrough in top secrecy. Designer Sir Nigel Gresley was not on board for his finest hour - his deteriorating health put paid to that.

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