Schools Resource Pack

The Mechanics’ Institution & Swindon Railway Village

Swindon’s Mechanics’ Institution and Medical Fund Society were pioneering in their provision of education, leisure, health and welfare services to the newly arrived, industrial working class families moved to the Railway Village to work in the GWR workshops. These organisations, while supported by the rail company, were organised by the workers for the workers.

This resource pack contains several different resources taken from the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre’s archives and local studies collections. The main resources are photos, maps and census returns which can be used individually, together and in conjunction with the stories and images in the Stories section of this website. Together they provide a detailed picture of life in the Railway Village from its foundation in 1843.



Who was Ebenezer Ford – Resources

Jefferies’ Land – resource & teachers’ notes

A Moment in Time – London St. 1851

Swindon population figures – resource

Swindon map 1901   Swindon map 1925    Swindon map 1942

Plans to redevelop the Railway Village

Health, welfare & leisure – photos & teachers’ notes

Mechanics Institution – photos & teachers’ notes


Teachers’ Notes

Mechanics’ Institution Resource Pack contents & lesson ideas

Teachers’ Notes – Who was Ebenezer Ford

Teachers’ notes – Census Exemplar

Teachers’ notes – Understanding the Census

Teachers’ Notes – Using Inference Grids

Using Sources – info sheet for teachers & students



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