The year 2016 marks 175 years since the birth of Swindon as a railway town…Made in Swindon: Celebrating 175 years

I am going to design… a Station after my own fancy; that is, with engineering roofs, etc. Isambard Kingdom Brunel

And he did rather didn’t he?


It’s rather fitting I think, that this multicultural town of Swindon – the new Swindon –  was made possible by a man of French descent. Though born in England, Isambard was sent to school in France for a time before returning to work with his father, Sir Marc Isambard Brunel.

logo swindon 175 - Made in Swindon: Celebrating 175 years

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend the launch ‘do’ for a year of celebrations to mark 175 years of the birth of Swindon as a railway town. And a very splendidly done affair it was too.

Not only was the event a fabulous platform (brace yourselves now – railway related word play is likely to puther out as thickly as when the City of Truro was getting up a full head of steam!) to launch the events of 2016, it was also a reminder of just how proud of Swindon we really should be. Yes – because of Brunel and God’s Wonderful railway. But not just because of that.

Made in Swindon can be described as ‘Trains, planes and automobiles’ – but gosh there’s so much more besides! YES THERE IS. Don’t doubt it.

Indeed Graham Carter gave a fantastic presentation listing tons of reasons why we should be proud of Swindon. Yup. Tons of fantastic, wonderful amazing ‘things’ that were made in Swindon.

Here – taken at random – are six of them.

  1. The King George V – the most powerful and beautiful loco from the golden age of steam. Made in Swindon in 1927.
  2. The GWR medical fund: this was the forerunner of the NHS and that didn’t come about for another 101 years. Made in Swindon in 1847.
  3. The Magic Roundabout. Made in Swindon in 1972.
  4. Garrard record decks –  Swindon-based inventors of the record changes.
  5. Spitfire – the world’s most iconic aircraft. Made in Swindon since 1943
  6. Cars – from the 1950s Swindon has designed and built cars, including over 2,000,000 Hondas.

So toot the whistle people of Swindon. Get behind the train of events ( I told ya!) – it’s gonna be an awesome, eclectic ride through 2016. You surely don’t want to be the wrong side of the tracks?! 😉

Roll on with Made in Swindon: Celebrating 175 years

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