Monthly Archives: March 2021



Didcot Railway Centre is planning to re-open and welcome visitors to the open-air parts of the site (plus the well-ventilated loco shed) for ‘Open Air Steam Days’ at Weekends and on Wednesdays from the 14 April 2021 (step 2 of the Roadmap out of Lockdown).

Some facilities can’t open yet, such as the Small Artefacts Museum, Air Raid Shelter and The Signalling Centre – these will reopen at a later date in line with Government guidance with appropriate measures in place to keep everyone safe.

Swindon Panel (part of The Signalling Centre) is an “indoor … museum and gallery”, and will not be able to open until at least step 3 of the roadmap. The earliest this can take place, if all other conditions are favourable, is 17 May.

We will continue to monitor the situation and the feeling of SPS volunteers and give a firmer date as the situation develops and, hopefully, the Covid risk recedes, but we know that this can’t be any earlier than 17 May.

Thank you to all our members and supporters who continue their interest in Swindon Panel from afar, and to our friends at DRC with whom we work closely on all the plans and restrictions.

This week marks Swindon Panel’s 53rd anniversary of opening. For the latter part of its main line life Swindon Panel staff worked 12 hour shifts, changing over at 6am and 6pm. As most shift workers will recognise, that time at about 5 o’clock where you start to wash up and pack away hoping to see the car of your relief arriving ‘any minute now’….. We are at the 5am stage now where the end of this ‘shift from hell’ is in sight! The only difference is, rather than looking forward to going home, we’re now looking forward to go TO Swindon Panel!