Living Museum of the Great Western Railway

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Mayor and Local MP Make Tracks To Railway Centre for Re-Opening

Didcot Mayor, Eleanor Hards, Deputy Mayor, Mocky Khan, and Local MP David Johnston OBE were amongst more than 300 visitors who made tracks to Didcot Railway Centre for the living museum’s re-opening weekend on 4 and 5 July.

The trio, along with other visitors were impressed with the sensitive, temporary changes made at the 21-acre site to allow the popular Railway Centre to re-open safely. Measures include separate entrance and exit lanes; one-way systems and space for socially distanced queueing for the Museum and Refreshment Rooms; and hand sanitiser stations.

“We have tried to ensure that the changes are as light touch as possible” said Chief Executive, Emma Jhita, “Much of the site is outdoors, open and spacious, meaning visitors can relax, enjoy their day and discover the incredible heritage we care for.” she added.  “It was wonderful to be able to welcome visitors once more and we welcome the support from Eleanor, Mocky and David – they were all very pleased  that the Centre, which is a key aspect of the area’s history and heritage has been able to re-open.”

The Centre’s iconic Engine Shed dating from 1932, a demonstration goods train posed on one of the Centre’s branch lines, the saloon from the Great Western Railway’s Royal Train and the locomotive on the turntable were all popular with photographers while for many children, the chance to climb on to the footplate of locomotive 5900 “Hinderton Hall” or let off steam in the “Wilgrove Halt” play area were amongst the highlights.

Tickets must be booked in advance.

Local MP, David Johnston OBE, with Wantage Tramway locomotive Shannon.  The engine, which dates from 1857 spent most of its life working in his constituency.


TOP PHOTO: Didcot Town Mayor, Eleanor Hards; husband Nick; Didcot Railway Centre CEO, Emma Jhita; David Johnston MP; DRC founding member, John Barlow; DRC Chairman, Richard Preston; Didcot Deputy Mayor, Mocky Khan and family.

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