STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway has announced plans to reopen its doors to the public next Thursday (27 May).
The Swindon Borough Council-owned and operated museum has achieved the UK-recognised ‘Good to Go’ certification and safety measures have been put in place, including: enhanced cleaning, reduced overall capacities, one-way systems, and plenty of hand sanitiser stations.
As per government guidelines, visitors will need to wear a face covering, unless exempt, and will be requested to respect social distancing measures. All visitors and season ticket holders will be required to book a timed slot in advance via the STEAM Museum website. Once on site, visitors are welcome to stay as long as they wish until closing time.
In addition to STEAM’s award-winning permanent displays and galleries, the museum will also be launching two new special exhibitions when its doors reopen. ‘GWR Shipping’ explores the history of the company’s ships at sea, including the important role which the GWR played in the evacuation of Dunkirk during the Second World War.
‘Through the Window’ showcases stunning artworks from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, alongside travel posters from STEAM’s collections. The exhibition is a collaboration between STEAM and Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Art on Tour project, which aims to share more of Swindon’s art collection in more places.
Frances Yeo, STEAM Museum Manager said “We’re thrilled to be reopening STEAM on 27 May and we look forward to once again sharing our incredible collections and special exhibitions with our visitors. We have implemented a range of tried and tested measures to aid social distancing and maintain cleanliness within the Museum, so visitors can safely enjoy our displays.”
“STEAM’s Great Western Hall continues to be the venue of Swindon’s life-saving COVID-19 vaccination centre and I know many local people will take up the opportunity to support the museum, while learning more about Swindon’s heritage and the story of the Great Western Railway.”
The STEAM Shop will also be open, but the museum’s Platform One Café will remain closed. Instead, STEAM has set up a dedicated space for visitors to enjoy their own picnic lunches.
STEAM has plenty of things to keep its younger visitors entertained over the May half-term including an interactive train-driving simulator, a recreated interactive GWR Signal Box, museum trails, and an activity book which can be purchased at a cost of £4.95. Initially, only card payments will be accepted in the STEAM Shop.
To book your ticket, please visit: steam-museum.org.uk
Follow STEAM on Facebook and Instagram (@SteamMuseum), or Twitter (@Steam_Museum).