Here are artefacts from the world of railways in Britain. Here are railway engines that bear famous names: Stephenson’s Rocket, The Flying Scotsman, Mallard, King George v, Evening Star. The first, the last, the fastest, the most powerful, the most famous.
Here are engineering marvels that all children of my age were taught to list. Boys of my age wanted to grow up as engine drivers. At the very least, we would seek to own the models and we would greedily devour the stories. Stories of public service, engineers and designers.
These were the machines that created the Empire.
Do today’s children have new objects of national pride? Is there a pride in the mobile phone? Or in the vacuous celebrity? (Although there may be envy and jealousy, there was never actual envy of the steam locomotive, or of its designer, or of Concorde and its builder.
The priorities may now seem dated, but they were never petty or trivial.