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Great Western Railyway Works, Swindon, Wiltshire



The former Great Western Railway workshops cover a large area of Swindon.  Currently a large portion of it is an outlet shopping centre - see its website:  www.swindondesigneroutlet.com.  It also the home of the STEAM Museum www.steam-museum.org.uk, Historic England's National Monument Records Centre  NMRC Website  and others.

At one time the GWR works was Swindon's primary employer - our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were among those numbers.  We have a few photographs taken inside the offices where Duncan's grandfather William Scott worked, in the Stores Department, although we do not know any names of the other people in them - if you are able to tell us any of the names, please get in touch.

Anyone living in Swindon before 1986 will remember the sound of the 'Hooters'.  Now looked on with nostalgia, actually they were a most depressing sound!  They sounded a few times in the morning, lunch time and evening and were a call to the GWR workers to come to work.  They sounded for the last time on March 26th at 4.30pm.  There is a website with lots of information about the hooters at:  www.fosrm.org.uk/hooter.html. A recording of the hooters can be heard at:  www.fosrm.org.uk/hooter.wma.

In 2016 Swindon celebrated 175 years since the GWR came to town and one of the initiatives was to re-create the sound of the hooters.  Mandy was fortunate to go to their first sounding (as well as others later) and managed to record it and take photographs - these will be added in due course.  That was just one of many events that took place in 2016 and we would like to congratulate those who organised them; Swindon's glorious GWR history was part of Swindon once again.

Great Western Railway Works
 - photo: 01060
Now the Outlet Centre
Photo No: 01060     Size: 922k
Photo Date: March 2012
 - photo: 01083
G.W.R. Stores Department, Invoice Offices.
Seated is William Scott (Duncan's Grandfather)
Photo No: 01083     Size: 818k
Photo Date: June 1935
 - photo: 01084
G.W.R. offices - woman's name is unknown to us
Photo No: 01084     Size: 998k
Photo Date: July 1936
 - photo: 01085
G.W.R. offices
None of these women's names are known to us
Photo No: 01085     Size: 697k
Photo Date: February 1931
 - photo: 01086
Men of W Shop who served in the First World War
Photo No: 01086     Size: 1323k
Photo Date: March 2012
 - photo: 01087
Men of the Iron Founderies who served in the First World War
Photo No: 01087     Size: 1308k
Photo Date: March 2012
 - photo: 01038
The Hooters
Listen to them at:   www.fosrm.org.uk/hooter.wma
Photo No: 01038     Size: 575k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01061
The Pattern Store
Now Bottellino's restaurant
More photographs
Photo No: 01061     Size: 1283k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01062
Photo No: 01062     Size: 454k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01063
The turntable for engines
Photo No: 01063     Size: 1830k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01064
Photo No: 01064     Size: 1158k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01065
Photo No: 01065     Size: 976k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01066
Photo No: 01066     Size: 1045k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01067
Taken from St. Mark's Church
Photo No: 01067     Size: 1336k
Photo Date: February 2012
 - photo: 01068
Photo No: 01068     Size: 1194k
Photo Date: March 2012
 - photo: 01069
Photo No: 01069     Size: 807k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01037
Photo No: 01037     Size: 1750k
Photo Date: March 2012
 - photo: 01070
Photo No: 01070     Size: 1325k
Photo Date: March 2012
 - photo: 01071
Photo No: 01071     Size: 816k
Photo Date: March 2012
 - photo: 01035
Photo No: 01035     Size: 1435k
Photo Date: March 2012
 - photo: 01072
The National Trust Heelis offices on the right, the old workshops on the left.
Note the 'hooters' on the roofline.
Photo No: 01072     Size: 948k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01036
In the car park at Steam
Photo No: 01036     Size: 1453k
Photo Date: March 2012
 - photo: 01073
This building is now a shopping centre
Photo No: 01073     Size: 1117k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01074
Photo No: 01074     Size: 886k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01075
Churchward House
Photo No: 01075     Size: 881k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01076
Photo No: 01076     Size: 815k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01077
Photo No: 01077     Size: 870k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01078
The road goes under the London-Bristol railway line bridge
Photo No: 01078     Size: 841k
Photo Date: August 2008
 - photo: 01079
The other side of the bridge
Photo No: 01079     Size: 1153k
Photo Date: February 2012
 - photo: 01080
Taken from St. Mark's Churchyard
More photographs
Photo No: 01080     Size: 794k
Photo Date: February 2012
 - photo: 01081
Water Tower at the GWR works
This is a listed building, for
further details see the 
Historic England  site.
More photographs
Photo No: 01081     Size: 1202k
Photo Date: February 2012
 - photo: 01647
Wall of the GWR Works
Station Road
It is Grade II listed, for
further details see the 
Historic England  site.
Photo No: 01647     Size: 1216k
Photo Date: June 2012
 - photo: 06360
GWR Weigh House
More photographs
At this address:
GWR Weigh House    [Source]
Archers Brewery    [Source]
Weighbridge Brewhouse    [Source: Photo 06363]
Photo No: 06360     Size: 1381k
Photo Date: May 2015

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This page was last updated on 3rd September 2017
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