Duke of Gordon (“For his notable contributions Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly was styled Cock o’ the North, a designation which has ever since been accorded to the heads of Clan Gordon”)
North Eastern Railway
Purchased by NWR
704 was built at Doncaster in 1921 by the Great Northern Railway. Intended to be the first of the A1 class, this loco was used as a prototype ‘test mule’ for many features that would end up on the A1 pacifics, and was later dubbed the ‘A0’ class. As such, it was decided to sell the loco on to a third party rather than proceed with running a non-standard member of the class, while the works switched over to ‘Production’ A1s, beginning with 1470 ‘Great Northern’.
The name ‘Duke of Gordon: Cock O’The North’ had been given to the experimental A0, and after that non-standard loco’s sale to the NWR, the name was re-used in a shortened form on the new LNER P2 2-8-2 a few years later. However, the name ‘Duke of Gordon’ stayed with the A0 in its new life.
704 was later rebuilt with a superheater, but retained several features distinguishing it from the A1, notably the cylinder design.
Gordon is cobbled together from parts of several models. A Hornby super-detail (tender drive) ‘Cameronian’ A3 bodyshell was retrofitted onto a RailRoad ‘Flying Scotsman’ motorised chassis, and the A1 dome was bonded into the A3 boiler. The tender body was swapped for the GNR type. Cylinders are from an LMS ‘Duchess’ and the single chimney is from a GWR ‘King’.