Tag Archives: Swindon

Transom

I was particularly keen to photograph this because I think its days are numbered.

It shows the area where the finished engines would be moved outside and positioned onto the appropriate track to move them around the rest of the site.

I used to walk past here every week on my way from the railway station to my voluntary work at the National Trust HQ at Heelis.

It pleased me that this piece of our railway heritage was still there. However, houses are currently being built on this part of the site and already much of the track has been ripped up.

The buildings on the right of the picture are part of the Steam Museum. It’s a shame they couldn’t haveΒ acquired this area to demonstrate what used to happen when this was leaving and breathing industry.

Mechanics Institution

The railway company had its own education centre and library and railway workers were actively encouraged to improve themselves through study and acquiring further qualifications. Sadly this magnificent building is now derelict and no-one seems to want to develop it, except possibly into flats. A community building in keeping with it’s former use is what residents would like, but that doesn’t cover the costs the building needs spending on it to be madeΒ fit for purpose again.

So sadly, it just moulders on.

Model Railway Village

The railway company also provided housing, a school, a further education centre and more for its workers right next to the factory where they worked. These houses date back to 1842, but are substantial and the choice of stone used mean they look almost new today. I believe there are restrictions on what can and can’t be grown in the front gardens so that the appearance of the ‘village’ is kept consistent.

There are a few rows of these ‘back to backs’ which are all slightly different in appearance.