Mr Gibson told The Telegraph: “We have been very disappointed about the attempt by the NRM to take it away from us,” adding, “it features on the town’s coat of arms, on the badges of schools, football clubs, swimming clubs – it’s an absolutely integral part of our identity.”
The NRM still plans to relocate the machine to the Locomotion Museum in Shildon early March as the heart of the museum’s £4.5 million revamp.
Andrew McLean, Head Curator for the NRM, said the “disappointing” negotiations between the two parties had been going on for over a year and that the museum has “tried really hard to work constructively with Darlington”.
He said the NRM offered that Locomotion No. 1 go back to Darlington at “various and regular intervals over the next 10 years,” crucially including six months of 2025, which is the 200th anniversary of the engine’s first journey.
“Darlington was not able to sign up to that during those discussions,”…