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Didcot Railway Centre

         
Didcot Oxfordshire England
Description : 

 

In common with other outdoor attractions, Didcot Railway Centre will reopen in mid-April following the Government's announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown. The resumption of activities will see the Centre's popular Steam Days take place at weekends and Wednesdays from 14 April.

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."

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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.

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

Swindon Panel display

 

Nature in Art

      
Twigworth Gloucestershire England
Description : 

cotsw natureart1

Discover the unique nature inspired art collection housed within the beautiful setting of Wallsworth Hall. The Georgian mansion was once owned by Samuel Hayward (1714-1790), local landowner and magistrate who built it for his wife Catherine as a wedding present, you will be in awe as you spy its grandeur travelling along their half mile driveway, edged by trees and fields. The perfect surroundings for what is held within!

The art collection is international in scope, embracing two and three dimensional work in all media and styles, ranging from Pablo Picasso to David Shepherd. Over their 25 year history, Nature in Art has collected works which represent over 1500 years of art inspired by nature, from more than 50 countries and 600 artists. So whether you prefer exotic Flemish masters or contemporary glass, modern abstract interpretations or bronze sculpture, textiles or ethnic art there will be something for you...

 

Nature in Art is also suitable for all the family; children can create animal brass-rubbings, experiment with materials using their handling box, touch some of the sculptures around the galleries, as well as enjoy their outdoor play area and garden.

Together you can visit the artist in residence (from mid-January to mid-November) in the purpose-built studio, meet a woodcarver, painter or sculptor! Complete your visit by relaxing in the coffee shop with a homemade lunch or afternoon tea, and then browse through the gift shop for a memento of your day. The shop sells a range of unique gifts, cards and prints.

Open: Tuesday-Sunday, including Bank Holidays, 10am to 5pm. Closed 24th-26th December.
Entry: £5.25 adults, £4.75 concessions (over 60s, under 16s), £15 family (2 adults, 2 children), under 8s free.


Telephone 01452 731422

www.nature-in-art.org.uk

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New Brewery Arts

      
Cirencester Gloucestershire England
Description : 

Built in 1820 as a brewery, the premises continued to brew beer until 1937. After a period of use by a sheet-metal company the buildings were bought by Cotswold District Council for demolition. A local group, however, proposed repair and conversion into craft workshops instead and Cirencester Workshops opened in 1979.

 


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Museum of Oxford

      
Oxford Oxfordshire England
Description : 

The Museum of Oxford opened in 1975 and immediately intrigued locals and visitors to the city with the story of Oxford and how it has developed.

 


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Holst Birthplace Museum

         
Cheltenham Gloucestershire England
Description : 

It feels like going back in time when you step inside the Regency terrace house where Gustav Holst, composer of The Planets was born in 1874.


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