In 1977, the iconic Swindon Works was building locomotives. By 1986, it was shut down. In The End of the Line, Ron Bateman recounts the fight to save Swindon Works, its 3,500 jobs and the livelihood of the entire community it represented. Initially joining through the Works Training School in 1977, Ron witnessed this tragic struggle and the crushing blow dealt to the industry that had defined Swindon for generations. Combining personal recollections with information and interviews from many other insiders and railmen, this book provides the only comprehensive chronicle on the final decade of 147 years of railway engineering and a fateful milestone in the history of Swindon.
It was often joked that Swindon Works' men came with 'GWR' stamped on their bottoms, so much so that even in the BR era they considered themselves Great Western! Those who worked 'Inside' as locals called it, possessed a fierce price in their work and in their worldwide reputation. Using material from numerous interviews with workshop men and women as well as official documents, Swindon expert Rosa Matheson examines the differences of each era - GWR / BR; conditions in the Works; the idiosyncrasies of work practices, such as odd names of jobs like 'holder-upper' and generational family work histories. She also explores the relationships between the workers - men ad women, shopfloor and management, foremen and men and especially 'Loco' versus Carriage and Wagon! Whilst many books have been written about the Works, few, if any, have given a chance to those who worked in its workshops to have their voices heard in the telling of that story. This beautifully illustrated book uses their words and experiences to tell the good, the bad and the ugly of working 'Inside'.
The age of steam is past, the heyday of Swindon Works is long gone – but the legend lives on. What made the Great Western Railway’s Swindon Works iconic? Was it its worldwide reputation; perhaps its profound impact in shaping the new town of Swindon; or that it melded those who worked there into one big family? In a new and exciting format, this book, by popular railway historian Rosa Matheson, helps explain why the never-ending love story endures. With big facts and fascinating stories, it is a must read not only for ex-Works employees and their families, nor just for GWR fans and railway enthusiasts, but also for any newcomer seeking to find a good way into railway history.
Presents a social and industrial study of the conditions faced by the many thousands of working men and women and their families whose lives were controlled by the Great Western Railway from 1930-1960, the beginning of the modern period for the railway with mechanical accounting, up to the decline of the railway from 1957.
Apprenticeship and Training in GWR's Swindon Works
Author: Rosa Marie Matheson
Publisher: History PressLtd
The Great Western Railway's Swindon Works was the largest employer in the area, even during the early British Railway years. For well over a hundred years thousands of apprentices and trainees passed through its doors to learn the trades of the railways.
The 'Castle' class 4-6-0 locomotives designed by Charles Collett and built at Swindon Works were the principal passenger locomotives of the Great Western Railway. The 4-cylinder locomotives were built in batches between 1923 and 1950, the later examples being constructed after nationalisation by British Railways. In total 171 engines of the class were built and they were originally to be seen at work all over the Great Western Railway network, and later working on the Western Region of British Railways. The highly successful class could be described as a GWR work in progress, because further development took place over almost all of the locomotives working lives. In addition to inspiring other locomotive designers the 'Castle' class engines were proved to be capable of outstanding performances, and when introduced were rightly described as being 'Britain's most powerful passenger locomotives'. Some of the 'Castles' survived in service for over 40 years, and individually clocked up just a little short of 2 million miles in traffic. In this book, Keith Langston provides a definitive chronological history of the iconic class together with archive photographic records of each GWR 'Castle' locomotive. Many of the 300 plus images are published for the first time. In addition background information on the origin of the names the engines carried, including details of the many name changes which took place, are also included. The extra anecdotal information adds a fascinating glimpse of social history. Collett CASTLE Class is a lavishly illustrated factual reference book which will delight steam railway enthusiasts in general and in particular those with a love of all things Great Western!
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 37. Chapters: Derby Works, Brighton railway works, Melton Constable Railway Works, Swindon Works, Ashford railway works, New Cross Gate railway station, Derby Carriage and Wagon Works, Wolverton railway works, Horwich Works, Boston Lodge, Crewe Works, Old Oak Common TMD, Gorton locomotive works, Eastleigh Works, Bridgnorth railway station, Nine Elms Locomotive Works, List of British railway-owned locomotive builders, Dinas railway station, Cowlairs railway works, Doncaster Works, Lancing Carriage Works, Bromsgrove railway works, Wolverhampton railway works, Darlington Works, Bow railway works, St. Rollox railway works, Longhedge Railway Works, Caerphilly railway works, Shildon railway works, Edge Hill railway works, Stratford Works, Stoke railway works, Inverurie Locomotive Works. Excerpt: The Midland Railway Locomotive Works, known locally as "the loco" comprised a number of British manufacturing facilities in Derby building locomotives and, initially, rolling stock in Derby, UK. Around 1840, the North Midland Railway, the Midland Counties Railway and the Birmingham and Derby Railway set up workshops to the rear of Derby station. Although the Midland Counties had an engine house at Nottingham, the main facilities for all three lines appear to have been, initially at least, those at Derby. That for the Birmingham and Derby was next to its line, near London Road. It was about 140 feet (43 m) long and 43 feet (13 m) wide, with three lines and three wide archways at its entrance, supporting a water tank. In one corner was a smithy. The Midland Counties' shed was rectangular and about 800 feet (240 m) long to the north of the site. Adjacent to it were water and coke facilities, and locomotive repair workshops. The North Midland's became a full repair facility, with a smithy, lathes and other machine tools. These were associated with ...