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

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 08:40. The train will travel down the line towards, but not stopping at, Oxford and thence on to Worcester. This will be a great start to the day of celebrations. The Old Ticket Office will open its doors to the public from 9:00 so that early birds catching the Flying Scotsman coming through also have the opportunity to see inside this fine old building.

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.

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.

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

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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
  • Original GWR books and jigsaws available to buy - ideal for Fathers' Day

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

  • Souvenir vintage style ticket
  • Coloured information leaflet
  • Postcard with drawing of the Old Ticket Office and potted history of the station
  • 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

Travelling to and from Culham will be easy:

  • Special buses between Abingdon and Culham Station
  • Local trains between Oxford and Didcot will be stopping at Culham throughout the day (refer to special timetable). Combined tickets available from GWR will also allow entry to Didcot Railway Centre
  • Free parking outside the Old Ticket Office and alongside Platform 2

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Culham celebrations diary

Our stand at Oxrail 2018

Sunday 14th October 2018 - Oxrail 2018

To help celebrate and publicise the 175th anniversary, the Old Ticket Office at Culham attended the 2018 exhibition of the Oxford & District Model Railway Club. The stand was well placed in the main entrance corridor so everybody had to pass us at least twice. Great interest was shown in both the Old Ticket Office and the upcoming 175th celebrations with about eighty information packs being handed out. Many people had interesting stories to tell about the line and Culham with everybody saying they looked forward to June 2019 when they would visit at least one of the venues.

Our stand at Abrail 2019

Saturday 16th March 2019 - Abrail 2019

The second (and last) model railway show the Old Ticket Office at Culham attended was the 2019 exhibition of the Abingdon & District Model Railway Club. We were allocated a slightly smaller space than at Oxrail2018 so we were able to concentrate on the 175th anniversary. The show was very well attended with numbers apparently up on 2018 and we gave out almost 100 anniversary flyers, with many people saying they were looking forward to the celebrations.

15th-18th April 2019 - Exhibition in Abingdon precinct

Abingdon Community FreeSpace will be hosting an exhibition in their premises in Abingdon's precinct to publicise the 175th anniversary celebrations which will be taking place along the line. The Old Ticket Office at Culham will be there to answer questions and hand out promotional literature.

Tuesday 21st May 2019 - Exhibition at Culham Science Centre

The exhibition is being hosted by the Culham Science Centre in the foyer of their restaurant and coffee shop. We will be in attendance to answer questions and hand out promotional literature.

Wednesday 12th June 2019 - Media day

Today marks the 175th anniversary proper of the opening of the Didcot to Oxford branch line and of the Old Ticket Office itself. We are anticipating something special today to publicise the whole line celebrations taking place on the following Saturday.

June 12th-14th 2019 - Exhibition in Abingdon precinct

We will be mounting a second, smaller, window display in the Community FreeSpace in Abingdon's precinct to highlight the open weekend at the Old Ticket Office.

Saturday 15th June 2019 - Public open day 9:00am until 4:00pm (special early opening)

Being the day before Fathers' Day it provides the perfect opportunity to come and discover the history and background of the station. The Old Ticket Office will be open to the public to explore the original Brunel era features of this unique building and its surroundings.

Sunday 16th June 2019 - Public open day 12:00am until 2:00pm (extra day by popular demand)

The Old Ticket Office will be open to the public for a few hours today so that those who didn't have time to visit during the main celebrations day have a second chance. Being Fathers' Day there is no excuse not to visit and perhaps buy a souvenir before seeking refreshment at the Railway Inn.

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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

Abingdon Community FreeSpace for hosting our exibition of banners in their Abingdon precinct premises

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

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.