Swindon Works Through Time
Two men started the transformation from sleepy hilltop community into a thriving town. Gooch and Brunel chose the area near Swindon to build a factory for the Great Western Railway and for more than 140 years The Works was renowned for high-quality heavy engineering. Gooch, Armstrong, Dean, Churchward and Collett would be responsible for the design and building of some of the world’s finest locomotives and stock. In 1948 the GWR became British Railways and later diesels replaced steam.
In the town of Swindon a job in The Works was known locally as working ‘inside’. After the peak in the 1920s when nearly 14,000 were employed there, the workforce was gradually eroded. Sadly, in March 1986, Swindon Works was officially closed. Much of the great factory was demolished but thankfully some of it remains as a retail outlet. It is now twenty-eight years since the final hooter blew but Swindon will long be remembered affectionately as a railway town.
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