It used to be possible to present oneself, without prior arrangement at the main entrance of Swindon Locomotive Works on a Wednesday afternoon, and be given a tour of the factory. This facility dated I believe from Great Western days, and was very different from other locomotive works where visits could only be arranged some time in advance, on certain designated days, for parties of a minimum/maximum number of people. I do not recall this booklet being available at the time of my visit – December 1961 – possibly it was out of print, or reserved for VIP visitors. Certainly we (there were about five or six of us, all turned up “on spec”) were each given something, including a plan of the tour, but this was of such an ephemeral nature that it has not survived in my papers.
Other than anniversaries or other special events I do not think that anything of similar quality was produced for other British Railways Works and this was almost certainly an agreeable hangover from the Great Western. The usual ration for works visits was a rather skimpy pamphlet. “Life In a Railway Factory” is a “must read” for its vivid descriptions of various shops and their activities during the Dean/Churchward era.
PREVIEW BELOW – MAY TAKE A WHILE TO LOAD.
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