After its Covid-19 hiatus, STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway has reopened its doors to the public.
The Swindon Borough Council-owned and operated museum reopened its doors to the public on Thursday 17 September.
Visitors will be requested to respect social distancing measures. Hand sanitiser will be available throughout the museum, and a one-way system will be in place. As per government guidelines, visitors will need to wear a face covering unless exempt. Enhanced cleaning will also take place each day at the Grade II listed building.
All visitors and season ticket holders will be required to book a timed slot in advance via the STEAM Museum website. Timed slots will be available every half hour and once on site, visitors are welcome to stay as long as they like until closing time. Overall visitor numbers will be limited each day.
In preparation for the reopening, STEAM has achieved the UK-recognised ‘Good to Go’ certification, operated by Visit England and developed in partnership with Tourism Northern Ireland, Visit Scotland and Visit Wales.
Frances Yeo, STEAM Museum Manager said: “I am delighted that we have reopened STEAM to the public. The staff have worked so hard to implement a range of measures to aid social distancing and maintain cleanliness within the museum.
“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to STEAM and sharing the incredible history of the Great Western Railway.”
The STEAM shop will also be open, but the museum’s Platform One Café will remain closed. Instead, the museum has set aside space for visitors to enjoy their own picnic lunches.
STEAM has plenty to keep its younger visitors entertained including an interactive train-driving simulator, family-friendly trails, and a new activity book to purchase at £4.95. Initially, only card payments will be accepted in the STEAM shop.
STEAM will also be reopening with two new exhibitions for 2020, exploring the remarkable and unexpected services offered by the GWR. ‘Flying High’ glides through the history of railway aviation. ‘On the Buses’ takes a look at the GWR’s introduction of bus services in 1903 and uncovers the opportunities this presented for rail passengers to visit new and remote holiday destinations.
Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Town Centre, Culture and Heritage, said: “I am very pleased the STEAM Museum is finally reopening this week.
“Staff are excited to start welcoming visitors back and have been working hard to put new measures in place, in line with government guidance.
“Families can now safely enjoy STEAM, and two new exhibitions, so please remember to pre-book your tickets.”
To book your ticket, visit: www.steam-museum.org.uk
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