(30 November and 1 December, 10am – 5pm)

STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway will be turned into a Christmas wonderland in two weeks’ time.

Visitors will have the chance to buy festive treats and discover unique gift ideas thanks to 50 artisan market stalls displayed among the GWR story-telling exhibits and legendary locomotives.

The annual Christmas special at the Swindon Borough Council-owned museum will be taking place on Saturday, 30 November and Sunday, 1 December from 10am to 5pm on both days.

Carolyn Lovett, Events Officer at STEAM, said: “Christmas at STEAM is much more than a Christmas market – it is a celebration of the sights, sounds and smells of a traditional Christmas.

“STEAM has the largest collection of GWR railway objects in the world. The special atmosphere created by our story-telling displays and world-class collection of eight GWR locomotives will be complemented by live festive music in Great Western Hall and Santa’s Storytime in Hawksworth Hall.

“This year, we are welcoming many new traders, as well as those who are firm favourites with our visitors. Fabulous hand-crafted items on offer range from jewellery, handbags, textile gifts and fine writing instruments, to home furnishings, artworks, Christmas confectionery and decorations.

“We have a spacious seating area where visitors can relax and enjoy a delicious hot seasonal snack and even a glass of mulled wine while listening to superb performances on stage.

“Last year, we received some lovely feedback for this event, especially about Santa’s Storytime, when many parents and grandparents said they would bring their children again.”

Santa’s Storytime sessions take place in a cosy fire-place setting and include Christmas stories, sing-a-longs and a wrapped gift. Sessions cost £7.50 per child in addition to the special admission charge and are bookable in advance by visiting the STEAM website at www.steam-museum.org.uk

This year’s live performances include The Kentwood Show Choir, The Big Sing Thing Choir, The BellFlowers and Brunel Brass.

STEAM is offering a special festive admission price for Christmas at STEAM which includes entry to the whole museum. Entry costs £3 for adults, £2 for seniors (65+years) and students and £1 for children (3-15 years). Under 3s go free.

GWR locomotives on display at STEAM include GWR No. 4073 Caerphilly Castle, No. 6000 King George V and No 3440 City of Truro, on loan from the National Railway Museum.