175th Anniversary Celebrations

175th anniversary of line logo

Great interest has been shown in the 175th anniversary of the opening of the branch connecting Oxford to the Great Western Railway main line at Didcot. Various groups of volunteers at each station along the line are co-ordinating the celebrations which are being planned all along the route. Full details of all the activities planned at each venue, together with details of special trains etc. can be found at the dedicated website DidcotOxfordGWR175.org.

If anybody would like to particiate in or sponsor the celebrations at the Old Ticket Office in Culham we would be very pleased to hear from you via ku.oc.noitatsmahluc@ofni

Saturday 15th June 9:00am - 4:00pm

The Old Ticket Office will be opening its doors to the public from 9:00am so that early birds have the opportunity to see inside this fine old building before going on to one of the other venues. The special buses (Saturday only) will stop on the old Abingdon Road by the steps leading down to the Railway Inn, and a little further along at the end of the service road which gives level access to the Old Ticket Office.

Explore the original Brunel broad gauge era building and its surroundings where there are a few surprises waiting to be discovered. See the old ticket office window, original tickets dating back to the 1890s, and Edmondson date punches. You can even take home a special souvenir ticket after punching it like an old time Ticket Inspector.

Using the Discovery Trail booklet search out some remnants of broad gauge rail, see graffiti from 140 years ago and try to find the mark where a fatal shot ricocheted from the ticket counter top in 1868. See if you can find all the items of interest and answer all the questions about them.

Although not part of the line celebrations, the Railway Touring Company have scheduled their Cotswold Venturer railtour to pass along the line this Saturday. It is going on a round trip from Paddington to Worcester and the Flying Scotsman is rostered to do the honours. After its final stop to pick up passengers it is scheduled to depart Didcot at 9:08am and will then continue its journey towards Swindon. The return journey will be via, but not stopping at, Oxford and thence on to Didcot where it is due to arrive at about 6:30pm. This will be a great end to the day of celebrations.

Sunday 16th June 10:00am - 2:00pm

As there is so much to see and do on the Saturday, it has been decided to open the Old Ticket Office on Sunday (Fathers' Day) also.

Refreshments and toilet facilities will be available on both days at The Railway Inn which is adjacent to Platform 1

Saturday 15th June 9:00am to 4:00pm - Ploughman's Lunches will be available from 12:00noon right through until 4:00pm, with tea, coffee and light bites available all day from 9:00am.

Sunday 16th June 12:00noon to 2:30pm - Sunday Roasts will be served from 12:00noon. Light refreshments will also be available.

At the Old Ticket Office we will have:

  • Display of GWR memorabilia including original books, staff magazines, tickets, jigsaws and uniforms
  • Display of model railway items in four scales from '0' down to 'Z' including wagons from local coal merchants
  • Illustrated history of Culham station, featuring original plans from 1843
  • Display of items from 1935 celebrating the centenary of the GWR
  • Video display of steam excursions that have passed through Culham
  • Learn about the links with Nuneham House and how the station was visited by the King in 1909

There will be lots of free souvenirs to collect and take home:

  • Souvenir vintage style ticket
  • Coloured information leaflet
  • Postcard of the Old Ticket Office and potted history of the station
  • Colouring sheets
  • Discovery Trail booklet for children and grown ups too
  • Building sheets to download and make your own models of the Old Ticket Office on Platform 2 and the original Waiting Rooms on Platform 1
  • Sample packs of acid free card, ideal for model making

There will be books and memorabilia for sale:

  • Original GWR wooden jigsaws from the 1930s
  • Genuine GWR books and publications
  • Modern books of railway and GWR interest
  • Rare limited edition large format books

Travelling to and from Culham will be easy:

  • Special combined tickets for the Saturday are available from any GWR station or online and will allow unlimited travel on a special bus service connecting all events, unlimited travel on normal GWR service trains between Didcot and Oxford, and includes entry to Didcot Railway Centre
  • The special buses (Saturday only) will stop on the old Abingdon Road by the steps leading down to the Railway Inn, and a little further along at the end of the service road which gives level access to the Old Ticket Office
  • Normal GWR train services will operate throughout the day (Saturday only - no trains stop on Sundays)
  • Free parking outside the Old Ticket Office and alongside Platforms 1 and 2

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We are enormously grateful for the support received from several manufacturers who have donated samples for permanent display in the ticket office, and to all other individuals or organisations who have given their support in various ways.

Celebration at Culham sponsors

Culham Science Centre for hosting our exibition of banners and publicising the event via their intranet and social media outlets

Dapol who kindly donated decorated samples for static display of their GWR streamlined Railcar in '00' and a 57xx Pannier tank in '0' gauge

Greening Lamborn Trust whose generous grant towards the printing costs of our Discovery Trail booklet is gratefully acknowledged

Hornby Hobbies Ltd. who kindly donated examples of a GWR 63' Collet autocoach and their beautiful GWR 6023 King Edward II in '00' scale for static display

Network Rail Corporate Archive who kindly supplied high resolution scans of historical drawings and plans of Culham station

Oxforddiecast who kindly donated the first painted tooling sample of their delightful '00' scale Dean goods engine

The Railway Inn who are providing relief and refreshments over the weekend

Main sponsors of the Anniversary at Culham are:

Entikera Limited - with registered office at the Old Ticket Office, trading as :
Mpfineartprinting.co.uk - Fine art Giclée & photographic printing, digital fine art reproduction and picture framing

Please note:

When visiting the station members of the public are not allowed onto the old Platform 2 upon which stands the Old Ticket Office. The station itself is operational with fast trains passing throughout the day, so sensible care must be taken at all times to ensure one's own safety and that of others. Children should always be kept under adult supervision.
All visitors to the Old Ticket Office do so at their own risk, no responsibility will be accepted by Entikera Ltd. for any loss or injury howsoever caused.

Free parking is available on the station forecourt, or over the line by the Railway Inn.

Wheelchair logo

No public facilities of any type exist either in the Old Ticket Office or at the station itself.
Access into the building and Waiting Room is through a wide doorway and up one small step. The door between here and the inner office is however very narrow and not suitable for wheelchairs. It is possible to cross between platforms step free by means of the old road bridge.
Caution should be exercised by anyone doing so as there are no footpaths and it is still open to traffic.