Roger Burdett Wilson
The Railway Collection, as a special collection, was created after a large bequest was received from the estate of the late Roger Burdett Wilson. Burdett Wilson was a local railway enthusiast and author. His books include Go Great Western: History of Great Western Railway Publicity published in 1987.
The bequest was made up of books, magazine titles, photographs, plans, timetables and assorted ephemera mainly relating to The Great Western Railway. Notable periodical titles include a complete set of the Great Western Railway Magazine.
Many of the items in the collection are unique or very difficult to find elsewhere. These include correspondence, signal box diagrams, architectural drawings and the Hayden Diaries. The Hayden diaries are the work and social diaries of a father and son who worked at the Swindon Locomotive works. The correspondence includes original letters written by George Bradshaw, who created the first railway timetables. These letters were sent by him to railway companies asking for permission to include them in his timetable. The library has a incomplete collection of Bradshaw’s timetables, including some very early examples.