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Didcot Railway Centre

(Oxfordshire/Cotswolds Attractions)

         
Didcot Oxfordshire England
Description : 

19 October 2020

Didcot Railway Centre has been awarded £184,939 as part of the Government's £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure the 21-acre living museum has a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced.

 

CORONAVIRUS STATEMENT

15 June 2020

Didcot Railway Centre has announced it is to re-open to visitors from Saturday 4 July. The 21-acre open air site is implementing a series of measures to allow visitors to be welcomed safely, including limiting numbers and requiring tickets to be booked in advance for specific arrival times.

Initially, Open-Air Discovery Days will run on weekends and Wednesdays to allow visitors to explore the extensive outside spaces at the living museum with special outdoor displays and photo opportunities including historic steam engines, goods trains and a locomotive on the turntable.

The Centre's iconic Engine Shed dating from 1932 will also be available to visitors wishing to get close the collection of preserved locomotives and even climb onto the footplate of Hall Class engine No. 5900 "Hinderton Hall". Chief Executive, Emma Jhita said, "The safety and wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff is paramount and we adapted our site to allow us to re-open and provide the reassurance that visitors need.

"There are one-way systems for the locomotive cab visit and through the carriage and wagon display area; socially-distanced waiting areas for some of the facilities such as the museum, toilets and gift shop; while our catering offer will restart as a take-away offer." she added.

Social distancing considerations mean that the a small number of indoor facilities where space is very confined (such as the original air-raid shelter) will remain closed initially but visitors will be able to see the towering coal stage; a carriage that was once in the Great Western Railway's Royal Train; surviving track from Brunel's broad gauge railway; beautiful, recreated stations; more than 20 preserved locomotives; dozens of wagons – many design for specific types of goods; and many other exhibits that represent almost 200 years of railway history.

Head of Visitor Experience, Graham Hukins said "Re-opening will be gradual, safe and in line with government guidance but there is plenty to discover and we're making use of the whole 21-acre site to ensure there is plenty of room for visitors to relax and enjoy a gentle stroll as they explore.

"Tickets for the Open-Air Discovery Days will also be valid for a second visit on one of our popular Steam Days when it is possible to resume running trains and re-open further facilities. Following almost four months of enforced closure, we expect these days to be popular." he added.

 

Further information about the Centre can be found at www.DidcotRailwayCente.org.uk

 

Saint locomotive 299 and a vintage train at Didcot Railway CentreDidcot Railway Centre's unique Great Western Railway "Saint" Class locomotive has received a highly commended accolade in the prestigious Museums + Heritage Awards 2020 placing it in the top three restoration and conservation projects nationally.

The locomotive, No. 2999 'Lady of Legend', is a recreation of an iconic type of Great Western steam engine last seen in 1953 when the last of the original examples was scrapped. The £825,000 project was undertaken by a team of dedicated volunteers and took almost 24 years to complete with 2999 taking to the tracks in 2019.

To celebrate, the 2999 will be in steam and working passenger trains on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October as part of the Centre's series of Autumn Steam Days. Visitor numbers are strictly limited and tickets must be booked in advance at DidcotRailwayCentre.org.uk. The "Saints" were the blueprint on which the GWR based their designs for the first half of the 20th century. Examples of subsequent developments can be seen alongside 'Lady of Legend' at Didcot which houses the most extensive collection of locomotives from one railway company anywhere in the world.

Chief Executive, Emma Jhita, said, "This is wonderful news, a real tribute to the hard work and enthusiasm of the team here at Didcot. It is particularly rewarding to be recognised nationally, especially as we're not a conventional museum or gallery."

 

Clerestory 2 smallOpen-Air---branch-heroSaint-TT-550



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Didcot Railway Centre

(Oxfordshire/Cotswolds Museums and Arts)

         
Didcot Oxfordshire England
Description : 

19 October 2020

Didcot Railway Centre has been awarded £184,939 as part of the Government's £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure the 21-acre living museum has a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced.

 

CORONAVIRUS STATEMENT

15 June 2020

Didcot Railway Centre has announced it is to re-open to visitors from Saturday 4 July. The 21-acre open air site is implementing a series of measures to allow visitors to be welcomed safely, including limiting numbers and requiring tickets to be booked in advance for specific arrival times.

Initially, Open-Air Discovery Days will run on weekends and Wednesdays to allow visitors to explore the extensive outside spaces at the living museum with special outdoor displays and photo opportunities including historic steam engines, goods trains and a locomotive on the turntable.

The Centre's iconic Engine Shed dating from 1932 will also be available to visitors wishing to get close the collection of preserved locomotives and even climb onto the footplate of Hall Class engine No. 5900 "Hinderton Hall". Chief Executive, Emma Jhita said, "The safety and wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff is paramount and we adapted our site to allow us to re-open and provide the reassurance that visitors need.

"There are one-way systems for the locomotive cab visit and through the carriage and wagon display area; socially-distanced waiting areas for some of the facilities such as the museum, toilets and gift shop; while our catering offer will restart as a take-away offer." she added.

Social distancing considerations mean that the a small number of indoor facilities where space is very confined (such as the original air-raid shelter) will remain closed initially but visitors will be able to see the towering coal stage; a carriage that was once in the Great Western Railway's Royal Train; surviving track from Brunel's broad gauge railway; beautiful, recreated stations; more than 20 preserved locomotives; dozens of wagons – many design for specific types of goods; and many other exhibits that represent almost 200 years of railway history.

Head of Visitor Experience, Graham Hukins said "Re-opening will be gradual, safe and in line with government guidance but there is plenty to discover and we're making use of the whole 21-acre site to ensure there is plenty of room for visitors to relax and enjoy a gentle stroll as they explore.

"Tickets for the Open-Air Discovery Days will also be valid for a second visit on one of our popular Steam Days when it is possible to resume running trains and re-open further facilities. Following almost four months of enforced closure, we expect these days to be popular." he added.

Further information about the Centre can be found at www.DidcotRailwayCente.org.uk

 

Saint locomotive 299 and a vintage train at Didcot Railway CentreDidcot Railway Centre's unique Great Western Railway "Saint" Class locomotive has received a highly commended accolade in the prestigious Museums + Heritage Awards 2020 placing it in the top three restoration and conservation projects nationally.

The locomotive, No. 2999 'Lady of Legend', is a recreation of an iconic type of Great Western steam engine last seen in 1953 when the last of the original examples was scrapped. The £825,000 project was undertaken by a team of dedicated volunteers and took almost 24 years to complete with 2999 taking to the tracks in 2019.

To celebrate, the 2999 will be in steam and working passenger trains on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October as part of the Centre's series of Autumn Steam Days. Visitor numbers are strictly limited and tickets must be booked in advance at DidcotRailwayCentre.org.uk. The "Saints" were the blueprint on which the GWR based their designs for the first half of the 20th century. Examples of subsequent developments can be seen alongside 'Lady of Legend' at Didcot which houses the most extensive collection of locomotives from one railway company anywhere in the world.

Chief Executive, Emma Jhita, said, "This is wonderful news, a real tribute to the hard work and enthusiasm of the team here at Didcot. It is particularly rewarding to be recognised nationally, especially as we're not a conventional museum or gallery."

Clerestory 2 smallOpen-Air---branch-heroSaint-TT-550

 


180 years after it was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1835, the Great Western remains Britain's best loved railway. It was built on a heroic scale by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, with a broad gauge, beautiful bridges and sumptuous stations. It served some of the most scenic areas of England and Wales and called itself The Holiday Line. It invented the Cornish Riviera as a tourist destination. In the 20th century the GWR's Cheltenham Flyer was the world's fastest train. Its locomotive policy in the first half of the 20th century was an object lesson in the benefits of standardisation and evolutionary design. With the end of steam on the horizon by the 1940s, the GWR had built a fleet of diesel railcars and experimented with gas turbine locomotives.

Today Didcot Railway Centre encapsulates the long history of the GWR. The replica of the 1840 broad gauge locomotive Fire Fly offers an experience of travel at the beginning of the railway era. The collection of more than 20 standard gauge locomotives from the 1890s to the 1940s include many of the standard classes typified by tapered boilers, copper-capped chimneys and Brunswick green paintwork. They are completed by Didcot's preserved fleet of chocolate and cream carriages. On a steamday you are guaranteed a ride in vintage carriages from the 1930s or 1940s.

But Didcot is much more than a train ride. The original engine shed, built 1932, is an exhibition hall which displays locomotives in their authentic surroundings. As the only complete GWR locomotive depot that has survived, Didcot also has a coal stage and turntable in working order. Within the railway centre, buildings have been brought from around the GWR system and re-erected. These included two signal boxes, one of which is regularly opened with staff to explain how semaphore signalling works. There is a picnic area where you can sit and watch the trains go past.

The railway centre also includes a comprehensive museum of small relics and artifacts from the GWR. These include the colourful posters which decorated stations, an amazing variety of silverware, glass and crockery used in restaurant cars in the age of elegant dining, and the everyday items crafted in brass or steel and marked with the magic initials GWR.

11 June 2017 4144 2 crop 2400


The entrance to Didcot Railway Centre is at Didcot Parkway railway station on the London to Bristol main line. For information about events, please refer to our website, www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk 

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10 December Thomas 01 smallDidcot Railway Centre Christmas 06 small copyGrotto cropped

For further details, please refer to www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk 

Swindon Panel display

 


Upton House and Gardens

(Oxfordshire/Cotswolds Attractions)

      
Banbury Oxfordshire England
Description : 

A made to measure home

 


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Upton House and Gardens

(Oxfordshire/Cotswolds Historic Buildings)

      
Banbury Oxfordshire England
Description : 

A made to measure home

 


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Upton House and Gardens

(Oxfordshire/Cotswolds Gardens)

      
Banbury Oxfordshire England
Description : 

A made to measure home

 


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