Mention Doncaster around the world and the chances are that people will think railways.
The very first locomotive works were established in the heart of the town centre in 1853 by the Great Northern Railway, transforming Doncaster from a peaceful Georgian market town into an engineering superpower. Over the years many of the great names in railway design have been based in Doncaster. Patrick Stirling designed the famous Stirling Singles which were built in the Doncaster Works. His recently restored grave can be seen in Hyde Park Cemetery in Doncaster. Guided walks by the Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery tell about Stirling’s life as well as the many other railway workers who are buried there.
In 1923 as the railway companies were rationalised, Doncaster became the main design centre for LNER. Engineering genius Sir Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer at the Doncaster Works, designed Flying Scotsman which was exhibited at the British Empire Exhibition to represent the new LNER company. Flying Scotsman went on to become the first locomotive in the world to reach 100mph.
In the 1930s Gresley designed a new class of streamlined A4 locomotives, which were also built in Doncaster, and chose one of them, Mallard, to chase the world speed record for a steam locomotive in 1938. Mallard reached 126mph – a record which remains to this day – and in 2013 Mallard returned to the town where she was built to celebrate the 75th anniversary of that record.
Doncaster remains an important railway town to this day and was chosen to be the site of the new National College for High Speed Rail.
For day out ideas involving Doncaster's rich culture and heritage click HERE.