2016 will be 175 years since Daniel Gooch recommended to Isambard Kingdom Brunel to locate the Great Western Railway’s main locomotive works in Swindon. Located half way between Bristol and Reading, Swindon was an ideal location. The developments associated with the GWR accelerated development of the town that is now the biggest in Wiltshire. A new village was created with homes and facilities for the workforce of the new works. The story of the development of Swindon and it’s railway works is fascinating and in my opinion the best place to learn about it is in the STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway.
We often look at steam locomotives through rural charm/postcard eyes, but they were at the forefront of industrial and social development. For instance, did you know that in 1871, some 77 years before the creation of the National Health Service, the GWR began deducting small amounts from…
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