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But Will It Float???

At 12.30pm today, the New Mechanics’ website goes LIVE!

Our chair Paul Bearne, who is also the Trust’s ICT Wizard, will take the plunge, and push the button to launch the site globally.

At the same time, the Trust will open the doors of its temporary premises in the Former GWR Railway Museum in Faringdon Road, at a central Swindon crossroads. And in the spirit of Midsummer Madness, an artwork entitled “Take the Plunge” will show off the many dimensions of the Mechanics’ achievements — past, present and future.

The exhibition is really a ‘work in progress’ inspired by the building itself, which has had so many incarnations over 150 years of history. First opened as an unsuccessful hostel for single railwaymen, it was fundamentally rebuilt as a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, and played that role well for 90 years. Further alterations in 1960-62 permitted the exhibition of gleaming GWR engines until 2000. The dusty outlines of the various nameplates can still be seen silhouetted on the walls, among the Victorian pointed arch windows.

The Trust has a temporary license from Swindon Borough Council to use the office wing of the former Museum on a short-term basis until the building’s future is determined. For the month of July, the exhibition hall will be open daily from noon to 2pm for visitors to the exhibition, and supporters who wish to discuss the future of the Mechanics’ Institution or other cherished local landmarks.


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