Video: Reliving Mallard’s race into the record books

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Julie Slater came face-to-face with the engine that helped her father race into the record books yesterday.

Staff at York’s National Railway Museum knew few details about LNER Goods Guard, Henry Croucher, known as Harry, but were thrilled when this year’s celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of Mallard’s record-breaking run prompted his daughter to get in touch and yesterday Julie Slater, along with her children and grandchildren travelled from her home in London to the museum.

Julie Slater with her son Richard in front of Mallard at the National Railway Museum in York.

Julie Slater with her son Richard in front of Mallard at the National Railway Museum in York.

“I feel overwhelmed that I’m here, that I can let everyone know who my father was,” she said.

Mr Croucher was drafted in to work on board world steam speed record holder Mallard during its successful record attempt on July 3 1938.

Bob Gwynne, associate curator of railway vehicles said: “It is family stories like this that brings our spectacular collection of railway vehicles to life.”

This year history was made in York as Mallard was united with its five surviving sister engines at the museum. They are again on display and visitors now have until November 11 to see them after their visit was extended.

Its world record breaking run of 126mph near Grantham on July 3, 1938 remains unbeaten to this day.