A flower bed in honour of the world’s fastest steam locomotive has been unveiled at Knaresbroough Castle’s surprise view.
The floral design commerates the Mallard which became the fastest steam locomotive in the world on July 3 1938, marking a pinnacle in British engineering.
Both the Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Michael Newby and Knaresborough’s Mayor, Carole Reid attended the unveiling of the flora display with Chris Williams from Northern Rail announcing the arrival of the Mallard in the Castle grounds to Harrogate Borough Council’s principal parks officer Alan Taylor and Knaresborough’s hard working gardening team.
Coun Pat Jones, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Cultural Services also attended .
She said the parks team picked celebration events to create horticultural decorations for the summer season.
Sue Wood, horticultural officer at Harrogate Borough Council said: “Technically the bed hasn’t been too difficult to design. Mallard is painted LNER garter blue with red wheels, so we have planted the body in Pansy Ultima True Blue and we have used Begonia Super Olympia Red for the wheels.”
In 1938, No 4468 Mallard which had been built at LNER’s Doncaster works was chosen for the latest attempt on the world steam speed crown because of its double chimney. Mallard’s record still stands as a marker in global history and to this day inspires a sense of national pride.
The steam legend was recorded as reaching the speeds of 126mph on the East Coast Main Line, breaking the existing German record of 124 mph set in 1936.
Mallard was retired in 1963, before being restored in the 1980s and running special routes between York and Harrogate around Easter of 1987.
It is now part of the National Collection at the National Railway Museum in York which will host ‘The ‘Great Gathering’ of Mallard and her sisters between July 3 and July 17.
Anthony Coulls Senior Curator of Railway Vehicles at the National Railway Museum said: “From Mallard-themed pop songs and pub signs, to beverages and flower beds, it’s amazing how Mallard’s unsurpassed record still continues to capture the imagination of the British public.
“The nation is clearly on board as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the legendary locomotive breaking the world steam speed record.”