In September 1840 a young Daniel Gooch, then Superintendent of Locomotives for the Great Western Railway wrote a letter to Isambard Kingdom Brunel recommending Swindon as the location for the new Engine Repair Station. The plans were approved on 25th February 1841 and using the extract from Box Tunnel, work began at once on the new railway works which would transform the town and its people. A new railway town was born which was to become famous the world over.
Swindon’s 175th birthday will be celebrated across the town with a calendar of events and activities being planned. From the re-creation and sounding of the famous old GWR Hooter to the not so old Swindon Fringe Festival. Details of activities and events happening throughout the year can be found in the “WHAT’S ON” section.
One of the highlights of the year already has been the return of two flagship locomotives to the town from the National Railway Museum in York. King George V and City of Truro. Read more about these iconic locomotives in the NEWS section.
Swindon175 has the potential to build on Swindon’s proud tradition of social innovation. The provision of worker funded and designed health care at the railway village was the forerunner of the NHS. The spirit of health and self-improvement that came with the Mechanics Institute and the first lending library provided for the workers are part of the heritage that links the past, present and future. Swindon175 presents a real opportunity to showcase Swindon’s track record as a place of economic innovation with a thriving business and social community. Swindon has been at the forefront of new technology. Ever responsive to economic changes and opportunities we have developed from the railways of the 19th Century to the Spitfires of the 20th, to the hydrogen cars of the 21st.
Local businesses, groups and organisations are getting behind Swindon175 enabling the town to celebrate with great pride its successes and raise the profile of Swindon. Swindon175 isn’t just a railway celebration, but a celebration for the whole of the town to be proud of its achievements and heritage.
If you’d like further details or to find out how you or your company can get involved, please contact Swindon175 Project Manager: Caroline Black on 07733 364378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Buckland QC MP
Swindon175 is an opportunity for the town to take pride in our heritage and achievements, and the events being planned for next year will be a fitting celebration.
The anniversary gives us a chance to showcase Swindon’s track record as a place of economic innovation, with a thriving business community which will help us enhance ‘brand Swindon’ to attract new waves of investment.