Since then the museum has changed enormously. It is in one of the surviving works buildings but it now demonstrates that Swindon works produced everything for the railway and, in effect, created the town. Everything is complete and the artifacts are brought to life by a series of well built figures in appropriate clothing. Many locations had short videos which explained and amplified. These used old footage with interviews from people who had gone through the mill, also some wives explained how they brought up families under such work practices. Perhaps the most poignant comment was from a fireman talking about the change from steam to diesel, "I had an apprenticeship of eighteen years to work up to a driver only to find I had no job qualifications for other work". There were a number of volunteers who were only too pleased to chat about the various jobs.
Pictures can do a better job than I at describing the visit.
|Taking a break|
|Women played an important role during the war|
|Beautiful Caerphilly Castle|
|Broad Gauge Replica|
|This was true in my day as a trainee when I was told by management not to get married because I should devote all my time to the railway. I ignored this instruction and ultimately resigned.|
|The copper capped double chimney on King George V - No. 6000|
|The bell on King George V|
|City of Truro, No. 3717. In the 60s it was restored and put into regular service at Didcot.|
|7821, a Manor. They did wonders on the Cambrian Coast line but they had a small firebox. We had a couple at Reading.|
|The name and number plate from the last Castle built.|
I rode and fired this locomotive and these plates brought back many memories:
The museum is extremely well conceived and set out and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
Back at the station the next train to London, Paddington was the return working from Cheltenham which, again, was not full and I enjoyed a pleasant return to town.
For dinner this evening we went back to the Hereford Arms where the salmon and the Bressingham duck breast were very well cooked and prepared.
Click here to see all pictures taken at the Swindon museum