Project Description

Railways

PREVIOUS
NEXT
podcasts-railways-1

Westbury Coal Depot Advert featured in Michael’s Almanock, 1869. Copyright Swindon and Wiltshire History Centre.

Abraham invested the profits he made at the mills into railway companies, including the Great Western Railway (GWR).

Railway shares were secure investments as the industry continually grew. This meant Abraham’s money was safe and helped him get loans to grow his mill businesses.

Westbury to the world

Westbury station was added to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Wiltshire, Salisbury and Weymouth line in September 1848.

Prior to opening on 28 August 1848, Daniel Gooch (chief engineer at GWR), journeyed from Chippenham to Westbury with Brunel.

The opening of the station at Westbury was significant, as it enabled the movement of goods to and from the world. This may have been a factor Abraham considered when he bought both Angel and Bitham Mill.

podcasts-railways-3

An extract of Bath Chronicle, 1848. Copyright Bath 1n Time.

podcasts-railways-2

An engine in Trowbridge station. on the same line as Westbury station. 1874. Copyright Trowbridge Museum.

Bath Chronicle reported that:

‘At Melksham the train was received with loud cheering from the assembled populace, flags waving and bands of music playing. At Trowbridge also there was a great assemblage of people, and salutes of cannon were fired from the iron foundry. At Westbury, the Mayor presented the directors with a congratulatory address.’

Abraham travelled by train to London every six weeks to inspect the wool arriving at the docks.

The opening of the station at Westbury was significant. as it enabled the movement of goods to and from the world. This may have been a factor Abraham considered when he bought both Angel and Bitham Mill.

The new station was also useful to Abraham for travelling. He journeyed to London every six weeks to inspect the quality of wool arriving in the docks before it went to the mills. Being able to make a return trip from London in a day at around 70 mph was a major development – just ten years earlier this journey would have been taken by stagecoach at around 10 mph.

PREVIOUS
NEXT

More podcasts…