Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Full Steam Ahead

As if they knew we here in Swindon are celebrating a significant anniversary, my favourite team of experiential historian Ruth Goodman with archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn bring to our TV screens Full Steam Ahead the story of how the railways created modern Britain.

Previously the team have show us what life was like for the agricultural worker in the Tudor, Victorian, Edwardian and Wartime periods but in their new series they turn their attention to the phenomenon of the railways.

Closer to home we have been celebrating the coming of the railways and the creation of New Swindon with Swindon175. During a busy Spring and Summer there have been numerous events including the Swindon175 Images, an exhibition sharing the history of Swindon during the last 150 years; the Swindon Arts Trail and the Swindon Fringe Festival, not forgetting the Swindon Heritage History Day.

There has been the recreation of the famous railway factory hooter made by Colin Hatch and sponsored by Swindon Heritage and with the Railway Festival in September there are still more events to follow.

Full Steam Ahead is a six part series produced in partnership with the Open University and begins on Thursday July 21 on BBC2 at 8 pm. There is another chance to view it on Saturday July 23 BBC 4.30 and if you miss both of those you can watch it on iPlayer.

In the first episode our intrepid time travellers take a trip on the Gravity Train full of slate down the Ffestiniog line.

Colin Hatch and the Hooter

Former railwayman and Swindon Heritage team member Andy Binks gets to sound the hooter

Colin Hatch and his team

Swindon Heritage History Day

Guided cemetery walk with Noel Ponting

Guided cemetery walk with Andy Binks

Presenters Peter Ginn, Alex Langlands and Ruth Goodman - Full Steam Ahead

On the Gravity Train 

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