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:
. It also the home of the STEAM Museum
, Historic England's National Monument Records Centre
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:
. 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.