And continuing with my irregular series of posts about what I liked in Reading Museum.
Yes, it’s a helmet and I’m justifying an entire post about this, and not even to please my friend Liam who I think craves more content about civil engineering. But this is what will likely transform Reading and although Crossrail trains already reach Reading, the full service across London isn’t yet in operation as it stops at Paddington Station. There was no inevitability about the line going to Reading and that was only confirmed in 2014, with earlier plans having the service terminating at Maidenhead.
I’ve seen a lot of exhibits relating to railway mania in the middle of the nineteenth century and items were often kept by forward thinking individuals as they knew they would be seen as important for future generations. The National Railway Museum in York has huge piles of such exhibits in their stores and the railway did transform many towns and cities. Crossrail reaching Reading will also likely mean that the authority can justify another wave of house building in and around the town, given how easy it will be to get the service into the centre of London and beyond.
So, although this might be one of the most intrinsically dull exhibits in the museum, in 100 years I’ll wager (and I’m not at risk of paying out here) that this helmet is still in the collections as a reminder of the transformational moments in Reading’s transportation history. This post is definitely a flight of fancy, but there we go…..