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Swindon's tunnel under the tracks is home to workers' portraits

Swindon's tunnel under the tracks is home to workers' portraits - New look for historic railway workers tunnel

Forward Swindon invited artist Bruce Williams and local representatives to see the opening and lighting up of new artwork inside the historic GW Underpass in Swindon today.

Attending with Ian Piper, CEO of Forward Swindon, was Councillor Garry Perkins, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Culture, Bruce Williams the creator of the ten new artworks, and members of the project team who have helped to make improvements to the tunnel, including redecoration and lighting.  Also attending were representatives from local interest groups, and organisations based in the Churchward area of the town.

The ten new artworks represent railway workers through history, right up to modern times.  Bruce Williams is an artist who works almost exclusively in the public realm, and has produced artwork for other locations around Swindon. He comments on the artworks:

“The characters you can see would probably have used the route under the tracks themselves on their way to and from work.  These are regular men and women, who worked on the trains in war and in peace time, come rain or shine.” The artist used seven photographs from the Steam Museum Archives, and three images are of people working in the industry today.  

“On the opposite walls in gleaming letters read the words SWINDON WORKS, which is the name of the site but could also read as a hopeful slogan for the future.” Bruce Williams reflects. “I’m glad we have been able to breathe new life into the GWR Underpass.  It is now a bright and safe, and dare I say it 'beautiful' pedestrian route through the town which reflects the historic and contemporary achievement of the railway industry in Swindon.”

To view the project image gallery including photographs from this event go to:

See previous press release about the project: