An icon of British locomotives and one of the best known names in the country is the Flying Scotsman. It returned to main line running only last year after a ten year restoration project and the crowds came out to see the first long journey, thousands lining the tracks and stations on its route from Kings Cross to York. The above card takes us back to the romantic age of travel in the 1930s and the reason for its name and the route name, the nonstop journey from London's Kings Cross up the east coast line to Waverley Station , Edinburgh. The original publicity poster was by Curtis Moffat, photographer and artist. I can't make my mind up whether the women is supposed to be a stewardess or passenger but she is welcoming us aboard. Flying Scotsman broke speed records and also appeared in the classic Hitchcock film, 'The 39 Steps' when Richard Hannay (Robert Donat) journeys on the train and escapes pursuers by clambering off it onto the Forth Railway Bridge.
Not as glamorous as the first postcard as the crew have just arrived at Kings Cross in 1930 after the long miles from Edinburgh and pose on the buffer beam with the locomotive engineer Sir Nigel Gresley on the left. Gresley a designer of powerful and elegant engines not only produced the Flying Scotsman record breaker but also the A4 Mallard with its streamline design which still holds the world speed record for a steam engine at 126mph. The Flying Scot, an engine built in 1923 and almost scrapped in 1963 when diesel was replacing steam, is still thundering along the tracks and delighting steam enthusiasts everywhere, including me.