Rodbourne Living Story Project
Annie Townsend outside her shop
in Redcliffe St. circa 1900
© Mrs Glen Johnson
The coming of the railways made a huge impact on the life of Britain in the first half of the nineteenth century, but nowhere did it have an impact as great as it did on the town of Swindon — and especially, Rodbourne.
Totally transformed and dominated by the GWR works from the mid 1850’s, this part of Swindon (also known as Even Swindon) has a history all of its own and now a new project has been set-up to produce a photographic archive capturing its changing history, heritage and life over the past one hundred and fifty years.
Known as the The Living Story Project it looks back from life in Rodbourne today, to the development of a urban community as late-nineteenth century housing was built for workers of the Great Western Railway on land that was part of an earlier rural farmstead.
The project encourages members to share their memories and experiences of the area, to discover how local archive resources can help, and to contribute their own material to a digital community archive.
Supporters of the project include the National Monuments Record Centre, STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon Library Service, Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office, St Augustine’s Church and Rodbourne Methodist Church.