The year 2016 marks 175 years since the birth of Swindon as a railway town…
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.
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 of Swindon Heritage 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.
- The King George V – the most powerful and beautiful loco from the golden age of steam. Made in Swindon in 1927.
- 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.
- The Magic Roundabout. Made in Swindon in 1972.
- Garrard record decks – Swindon-based inventors of the record changes.
- Spitfire – the world’s most iconic aircraft. Made in Swindon since 1943
- 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?! 😉
Read about the return of the King here: http://www.swindonheritage.com/category/blog/