School visits are a great way to share stories of life in Victorian Swindon. How did people live without bathrooms and electricity, what was the Juvenile Fete or Trip Week? And not forgetting those wonderful locomotives built when the Works was one of the biggest factories in Europe. But it was a hard life, so people had to work together to develop solutions. Learn how our Mechanics Institution was one of the UK’s first public lending libraries, how our Medical Fund was an inspiration for Nye Bevan’s NHS, and how it helped pave the way for the adoption of National Insurance contributions.
Not much remains of the GWR Works, but children can learn to recognise what is left and how to find it. I am working on a video to help explain where the significant buildings within the Railway Village and old factory can be found. Please nudge me to get this finished! Sessions can focus on the process of writing the book A Railway Town Called Swindon* how resources were used to research and illustrate it, or different aspects of our social and industrial history.
*Teacher notes to accompany the book are also available on request.
If you are a school interested in a particular aspect of local history, get in touch and I will tailor a session to suit your student’s needs.