Full STEAM Ahead at the GWR Museum

The Great Western Railway was founded in 1833 and operated for over a hundred years, until Britain nationalised its rail network after World War II. At that point, “God’s Wonderful Railway” became part of British Rail (which was re-privatised in the 1990s, by the way).

IMG_9757GWR‘s main workshops were in Swindon, Wiltshire. Although the Swindon Works were closed in the late 1980s, a lot of the buildings still remain. Many of them are officially registered as Listed Buildings, and have found new roles, as apartments, shops, restaurants and even the Headquarters of English Heritage.

During our visit to the UK last month, we found ourselves with a couple of hours to spare. So we decided to visit one of the old workshops, which today houses STEAM, Museum of the Great Western Railway.

IMG_9744 IMG_9810We spent a fun afternoon exploring this fascinating and very visual museum. Glass cases are few and far between. In fact, you actually walk through the majority of the exhibits, which flow seamlessly into one another. And the building itself doesn’t just house the museum, it’s part of it.

In the workshop offices

In the workshop offices

I wonder if she'll guest-write my next blog... or even help with the next Jaspa's Journey book?

I wonder if she’ll guest-write my next blog… or even help with the next Jaspa’s Journey book?

A bicycle made for two

A bicycle made for two

I love how the Foundry display incorporates a photo from the Swindon Works in their heyday

I love how the Foundry display incorporates a photo from the Swindon Works in their heyday

The Boiler Shop

The Boiler Shop

And then there are the trains, of course! I mean, who doesn’t love a steam train? Bisckits certainly does, but you know what he’s like.

Me and the Caerphilly Castle

Me and the Caerphilly Castle

Station Platform 2 and the Red Dragon

Station Platform 2 and the Red Dragon

On the footplate of the Red Dragon... Can you spot Bisckits?

On the footplate of the Red Dragon… Can you spot Bisckits?

Would you want these three driving your train?… (As you can see, I’m just a passenger, enjoying the view!)

Train driver's view

Train driver’s view

Earning my keep in the Buffet Car, serving Stu and Connor

Earning my keep in the Buffet Car, serving Stu and Connor

All in all, we had Great (pun-intended) time at STEAM. I for one would love to see more museums modelled on its immersive style.

Station Platform 1

Station Platform 1

Sue making her Point

Sue making her Point

Probably the most famous steam train in the World!

Probably the most famous steam train in the World!

Re-enacting a scene from a 1920s movie

Re-enacting a scene from a 1920s movie

School children in period costumes enjoying their day at the GWR Museum

School children in period costumes enjoying their day at the GWR Museum

A post about steam trains seems like the perfect subject for this coming Thursday’s Which Way Challenge from Cee’s Photography!

PS. I appear in 11 of these photos (plus the video clip) and my brother Bisckits is in three of them. Can you find us?!

What sort of a question is that? Of course Jaspa's Journey is necessary!! (Actually, this is a wartime poster)

What sort of a question is that? Of course Jaspa’s Journey is necessary!! (Actually, this is a wartime poster)

While you’re reminiscing about the Days of Steam, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal, or through my websiteFacebook, Twitter and Instagram?

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

Jaspa's Journey Logo (Bigger Bucket)

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in History, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Review, Travel, United Kingdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Full STEAM Ahead at the GWR Museum

  1. Looks very fun and informative…just like the Spoorwegmuseum in Utrecht that Jesse and I visited with Kim and Iwan on our visit to Holland last spring 🙂

  2. Passenger says:

    Wow, such great photos. I like trains a lot, so that will defenetly be on my stop list when I make it to england. Thank you so much for shaeing.

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