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Engineering Department & Work Week

Engineering Department

Maintaining the Mixed Gauge

Here are all the volunteer Engineering Department site work weekend etc. 2020 work dates. Other site groups meet on other days both at weekends and during the week. Once again achievements on the ground will be celebrated at the Grand Dinner at the end of November. Everyone is welcome.
Saturday/ Sunday 25th/ 26th January
Saturday/ Sunday 8th/ 9th February
Saturday/ Sunday 29th February/ 1st March
Saturday/ Sunday 14th/ 15th March
Saturday/ Sunday 28th / 29th March
Saturday/ Sunday 25th/ 26th April
Saturday/ Sunday27th/ 28th April
Friday/ Saturday/ Sunday 8th/ 9th/ 10th May
Saturday/ Sunday 23rd/ 24th/ 25th May
Saturday/ Sunday 13th/ 14th June
Saturday/ Sunday 27th/ 28th June
Saturday/ Sunday 11th/ 12th July
Saturday/ Sunday 1st - 9th August (Work Week)
Saturday/ Sunday/ Monday 29th/ 30th/ 31st August
Saturday/ Sunday 12th/ 13th September
Saturday/ Sunday 26th/ 27th September
Saturday/ Sunday 10th/ 11th October
Saturday/ Sunday 24th/ 25th October
Saturday/ Sunday 7th/ 8th November
Saturday/ Sunday 28th (Grand Dinner)/ 29th November
A pocket copy of this year’s Engineering Department Work Weekend dates is available once again; you will have to collect your copy in person to find our colour of the year. More details of all the Engineering Department site work activities and site planning from Richard Antliff <>, 07804 32 94 97.
Richard Antliff

Work Week 2020

... will run from Saturday 1 to Sunday 9 August 2020.

Ask not what the Great Western Society can do for you - ask what you can do for your Society” is not something that John F Kennedy is down on record as ever having said. Had the former President realized that it was possible to do something for the Society and to have it do something for you simultaneously, and that it is possible to have fun whilst doing them, I think a mention of GWS Work Week might well have crept in.

Our annual Work Week is a splendid opportunity for you to get down and dirty – recreating the Golden Age of the Great Western Railway. Don’t think that because you don’t have engineering skills, we can’t use your talents and enthusiasm. If you’re enthusiastic and willing, we will ensure you are given the job and the training to enable you to make a valuable contribution.

What’s it all about?

For the Society, it’s a golden opportunity for a concentrated effort to get some of the outstanding tasks around the Centre completed. Looking after our 20 acre site is a never-ending task – there is always plenty to do. However, it is not all about work! It is a combination of work and enjoyment!

For you, it has many advantages!

  • You have the satisfaction of making a very practical contribution to the work of your Society
  • You meet members from all over the country and abroad who come back year after year. If you’re thinking about volunteering this is a very good introduction.
  • You get a chance to drive and fire a steam engine (organised event on one day during the week)
  • Social activities will also be arranged during the week (some events will be provided at a small cost) 

Limited accommodation may be available in our Mk III sleeping coach and limited pre-booked camping on site is also possible, or you may wish to stay in the Didcot area and a list of accommodation is available from the Society office (see below).  The Catering Department provides breakfast, lunch and an evening meal each day at very reasonable prices, and our very own ‘Black Python’ bar coach provides beer at equally reasonable prices each evening.


If you're planning on volunteering for more than a day you may be looking for overnight accommodation, and we can help you to find something suitable.

  • Sleeping compartments are available in our Mk III sleeper - please book in advance with the office
  • Camping, with you own tent, in a designated part of the picnic area is permitted for work week only - pitches are limited, and again please book in advance with the office
  • Lists of local Bed and Breakfast accommodation are available

To enquire about accommodation please contact the Didcot Railway Centre Office by e-mail or Tel: 01235-817200.

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