STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Great Western Railway Castle Class locomotives with two brand-new photographic exhibitions by renowned photographer, Jack Boskett. The first exhibition, 100 Years and Still Steaming will showcase an array of stunning scenes with Castle Class locomotives working on heritage railway lines at the forefront.
Swindon Museums Collections & Exhibitions Manager, John Wood said: “2023 marks one hundred years since the first of the Castle locomotives, No. 4073 Caerphilly Castle, went into service and we are delighted to be marking the occasion in collaboration with Jack Boskett. Between 1923 and 1950, 171 Castle Class locomotives (including 16 rebuilds) were built at Swindon railway works.
“Castle Class locomotives were remarkable engines from the outset. At the British Empire Exhibition in 1925, the GWR and The London and North Eastern Railway’s (LNER) held trials between the two locomotive types, which the Castle Class locomotive won. Then in 1929, The Cheltenham Spa Express (or Cheltenham Flyer) which ran between Cheltenham Spa and London Paddington became the world’s fastest train, when it achieved an average speed of 66.2 miles per hour. Castles were synonymous with speed and power.”
The second exhibition, entitled From Railways to Royalty will take visitors on a journey through the lens of Jack Boskett in his 13 years as a professional photographer. His varied photographic career has led him to photograph railways, royalty and many subjects in between. Every photo has a story to tell and visitors can expect to see portraits of Prime Ministers, celebrities, and members of the Royal Family during public engagements.
Jack Boskett said: “When STEAM approached me to exhibit my work at the museum to kick off the summer season, I was very humbled and excited. To have my photographs at this historic location of the former Great Western Railway is such an honour. As a keen railway photographer and engineman on heritage railways, I will feel at home.
“I have spent a lot of time hand picking my photographs for this exhibition which coincides nicely with the celebratory Coronation of King Charles III in May and also the 100th anniversary of the GWR Castle Class locomotives in August. I am really looking forward to see what the reactions are to STEAM visitors and I hope it gives plenty of creative inspiration to budding photographers who are looking at expand their railway photography.”
The combined exhibitions will feature 150 of Jack’s most impressive pieces of work, mounted in frames and canvas prints. Visitors can see 100 Years and Still Steaming and From Railways to Royalty on display in STEAM’s Caerphilly Castle Hall between Saturday 29th April and Monday 10th September 2023.
On Saturday 12th August, visitors are invited to meet Jack in person at STEAM and find out more about his work.
Admission to both special exhibitions is included with STEAM admission and free to STEAM Season Ticket holders.