The Duchess of Cornwall visited Swindon today to celebrate the town's 175th anniversary and honour the man who put it on the map.
In 1841 Sir Daniel Gooch proposed that Great Western Rail (GWR) locate their locomotive works in Swindon and the business grew to employ 14,000 local people, transforming rural farmland into a thriving town.
Arriving by train, Her Royal Highness’s first stop was to unveil a plaque naming Sir Daniel Gooch Place, at the front of Swindon Train Station.
The Duchess was joined by the Mayor of Swindon, Councillor Eric Shaw and local school children from Robert Le Kyng Primary School who waved flags and presented Her Royal Highness with a posy.
It was then in to view historic items from the Sir Daniel Gooch exhibition, and see the “Sir Daniel Gooch Bust”, which was created by New College Swindon student, Fatima Alves.
Finally, as the town looks towards the future, Her Royal Highness visited the Civic Offices to view long-term plans for the regeneration of the town centre. Her Royal Highness was joined by the Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council, Cllr Russell Holland, and the Chief Executive, John Gilbert.
Upon leaving the civic offices, The Duchess had a surprise opportunity to congratulate newly weds, Mr and Mrs Bailey, who had just been married at Swindon Registry Office.