Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,405 pages of information and 233,863 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Alan Francis Pegler

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1920 Born in London, son of Francis Egerton Pegler, MD of Northern Rubber Co

1937 Gained his pilot's licence at Sheffield Aero Club[1]

c.1938 Started to study law at Cambridge University

WWII Joined the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, flying Skua dive bombers; later moved to Royal Observer Corps and then the RAF Photo Recognition Unit

1940 Married Susan Bendall[2]

1941 Made a director of Northern Rubber Co

Post-WWII Returned to work at Northern Rubber; also became a Lloyd's Underwriter

1946 Married Lois M Buchanan-Reith in Westminster[3]

With the fortune he had accumulated, he began to organise rail excursions, including the Northern Rubber Special.

1951 He was approached by friends to buy and clear the outstanding debt on the derelict Ffestiniog Railway. Lent £3,000 by his father, he and the volunteers obtained control of the company on 24 June 1954. Pegler was appointed the new company's first Chairman. Pegler later released complete control of the company without any personal financial gain to Ffestiniog Railway Trust, which still owns and runs the railway today.[4]

1952 Married Pamela M. Marshall in Westminster[5]

1957 Married Pauline B Graves in Cambridge[6]

1961 Retired from Northern Rubber Co

1963 Using some of the money he had accumulated during his business career, he purchased the Flying Scotsman locomotive that was to be scrapped by British Railways for £3000[7]

1963 As a result of his past association with running excursions he was able to agree with British Railways that he could run steam excursions using Flying Scotsman for the next 10 years, despite most other steam locomotives being withdrawn during this period.

1969 Took Flying Scotsman to the USA on a promotional tour

By the end of 1971 the train had covered 15,400 miles, with Pegler at the controls for much of the time.

1972 Pegler declared himself bankrupt, having largelly funded the US/Canadian trips himself. Flying Scotsman was placed in store in California.

He persuaded William McAlpine to purchase the locomotive and ship it back to Britain.

Pegler worked as a cruise lecturer until he discharged his bankruptcy in 1974.

2006 Appointed OBE

2012 Died

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. RAeC certificate
  2. 1984 Marriage certificate of Timothy Francis Pegler
  3. BMD
  4. Wikipedia item on the FR
  5. BMD
  6. BMD
  7. The Times Wednesday, Nov. 1, 1972
  • The Times Mar. 23, 2012