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New Museum Donation

An important collection of early trade medals with a connection to Westinghouse has been donated to Chippenham Museum by Chippenham Properties Ltd., the current owners of Langley Park.

 

Museum Curator Melissa Barnett with Head of Innovation at Siemens Mark Glover (left) and Neil Simon Estates Manager at Langley Park, owned by Chippenham Properties Limited.

These medals came from the company Saxby & Farmer, one of the companies that later merged to become the Westinghouse Brake & Signal Company. John Saxby, an inventor who created the concept of railway signalling as we know it today, and his business partner John Farmer had a factory in London from the 1850s. In around 1900 the company joined with Chippenham-based Evans O’Donnell Ltd who were based in the old Rowland Brotherhood railway engineering workshops near the station. The companies eventually became part of the Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company Ltd, which was for decades a leading global supplier of railway brakes, signals and other equipment. Their work is continued today by Siemens Rail Automation UK who remain on the site.

These medals would have been awarded to exhibitors at the major trade fairs at the end of the 19th Century. These international Expositions would have been of great importance and it is known that the firm won the highest (gold) awards for their railway signals and safety appliances.

Melissa Barnett Curator of Chippenham Museum said “we are delighted to accept this generous donation from Chippenham Properties Ltd. The collection which will enhance our displays of Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company and enable us to show the international importance of the works as well as its impact on generations of Chippenham families”

Cllr Sandie Webb says, “The town of Chippenham has had a close relationship with the company since the time of the Boer War when the site was owned by Evans O’Donnell, through WW1 as Saxby Farmer and then onto and beyond WW2 as Westinghouse Brake & Signal Company. Siemens have continued the tradition of providing welcome employment. This donation by Clive Wilding, Director of Chippenham Properties Ltd, will afford visitors to Chippenham Museum a glimpse of the international renown that the towns longest and largest employers enjoyed “

As well as a collection of artefacts connected to the works the museum also holds an archive of papers, photos and ephemera connected to the works of the site which have been donated through the generosity of Siemens.

The museum would like to thank Clive Wilding, Director of Chippenham Properties Ltd. for this kind donation

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