An old friend, the 1912 GWR Fire Engine, has returned to the site where it was first owned and is now on display at Swindon’s STEAM Museum.
The vintage vehicle, classed as a Dennis Fire Engine, belonged to Swindon Works which bought it in 1912. It was kept at the Railway Village Fire Station, located on the corner of Bristol Street and Church Place.
The Fire Engine was the Brigade’s main appliance until 1942, when it was replaced by a new Dennis engine.
Previously on display at York’s National Railway Museum, it now takes pride of place in the Foyer (Scraggery) at STEAM, Museum of the Great Western Railway, and has already attracted a lot of attention from visitors.
Cllr Justin Tomlinson, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Recreation, said: “This striking Fire Engine was a very important part of Swindon Works and also a big part of the Railway Village community that it served. We are very grateful to the National Railway Museum for allowing us to have this exciting exhibit on loan. We aim to continuously refresh the STEAM Collection and the Fire Engine has already generated a lot of interest from visitors of all ages. With the wonderful Christmas decorations now in the Museum, there couldn’t be a better time to visit.”
This latest acquisition at STEAM was supported by the Mayor of Swindon, Cllr Steve Wakefield, who has family connections with the railways and is fanatical about the Great Western Railway.
Cllr Wakefield said: “I am thrilled that we now have this magnificent fire engine on display at STEAM for all the museum’s visitors to enjoy. It is a splendid vehicle and its small engine size made it perfect for accessing the small roads and for getting in and around the Works.”
STEAM is open from 10am to 5pm every day, except 25 and 26 December and 1 January.
For more details about STEAM, visit the website at www.swindon.gov.uk/steam
Christmas events and activities at STEAM
‘Meet the Railway Workers’ – 20 December and 3 January
Visitors get to climb aboard the famous locomotives, learn about the controls and hear stories of what it was like to drive these great engines.
Free Christmas Quiz Trail
This fun trail takes you through the Museum and runs between 20 and 31 December.
Other family activities throughout the Museum include the interactive Signal Box, train simulator, children's play area and vintage amusement machines on a recreated seaside pier.