New exhibition at STEAM explores the historic branding of the GWR

A brand new exhibition focusing on the history of the Great Western Railway has opened at STEAM for the summer holidays.

Published: Wednesday, 1st August 2018
STEAM exhibition

Entitled GWR with Everything, the special exhibition explores how the Great Western Railway branded anything and everything. From pen nibs to bricks and from bars of soap to door handles, everything was branded with the company’s initials.

The exhibition displays an array of weird and wonderful objects that were printed, stamped and marked with GWR.

Elaine Arthurs, Assistant Curator at STEAM, has created the new exhibition. She said: “There is a real treasure trove of material and objects on display, some of which are being displayed for the first time. There are also some really quirky items on display, such as toilet paper and manhole covers.

“Visitors to STEAM this summer will also get to test their skills with a ‘Guess the Object’ game.  With almost 100 objects on display, this exhibition is a visual feast of everything GWR. We are delighted to have the modern 'Great Western Railway' on board as a sponsor of this exhibition.”

The exhibition complements STEAM’s other two special exhibitions that opened earlier this year: The Art of Publicity and The GWR Publicity Machine, which celebrate the wonderful advertising, publicity materials and merchandise produced by the GWR.

Councillor Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for STEAM, said: “GWR with Everything is a delightful and intriguing exhibition. This is a fantastic opportunity to view many GWR items from the STEAM collection that are not on permanent display. Visitors can experience rare and many unexpected GWR objects that are remarkable for both their functionality and clever design.

“We are very grateful to the present-day train operating company, the Great Western Railway, for sponsoring this exhibition, together with ‘The GWR Publicity Machine’.

“With the summer holidays now in full swing, it’s the perfect time to discover and experience some fascinating Swindon and GWR history. There’s plenty of fun to be had with the many interactives at STEAM too. It really is a terrific day out.”

This summer, STEAM’s friendly Learning Team are running a series of family drop-in activities which add an extra learning dimension for young visitors and follow the theme of the special exhibitions for 2018.

Admission to special exhibitions is included with STEAM admission and free to STEAM Season Ticket holders.

STEAM’s Kids for a Quid offer is also available until 2 September and ensures that up to four children (aged three to 15) can visit STEAM for just £1 each when accompanied by a full-paying adult. To take up the offer, visitors need to print off the Kids for a Quid voucher from the STEAM website at www.steam-museum.org.uk before arriving at the museum.

STEAM is open every day Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 11am to 4pm.

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