21st November 2016
Organising the commemorative occasion was locally-headquartered commercial law firm Thrings, headline business sponsors of Swindon175 - the initiative honouring the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Great Western Railway (GWR) in Swindon.
Connecting to the rail network spurred a transformation of the destination from a largely rural area into the industrial and commercial centre it is today. Adding to Swindon’s economic success is a history of social innovation, with the precursor to the NHS being rooted there.
The Hooty Party is one of a series of business, cultural and community events and exhibitions taking place throughout the year. It takes its name from the Swindon Railway Works hooter, the call used to mark the working day to employees across the sprawling town. At its peak use, the hooter was sounded up to nine times a day and for up to 12 seconds at a time. It was last heard at 4.30pm on 26 March 1986, when the factory closed its doors for the last time.
Paul Gentleman of Swindon175 said: "Swindon175 has been all about celebrating the town's past, present and future and it's fantastic the way business has got behind this important year of celebration.
“Rightly the profile of the town has been raised, not only to the wider region, but importantly to those who live and work here. Let's now build on this, and together push the town further forward and show off our fantastic heritage and exciting future."
Welcoming guests at the event, Thrings corporate partner Simon Hore said: “The arrival of the railway marks a turning point in the town’s history and played a central role in making Swindon the commercial centre of the region it is today.
“Thrings continues to be firmly invested in the town after a 300 year association with Wiltshire. We are pleased to be supporting Swindon175 as a celebration of the destination’s rich heritage and reputation as a great place to live and to do business.”
For more information about Swindon175, please visit https://www.swindon175.com