Hello again dear reader,
Welcome to part 3 in a series (I’m not sure how many the series will consist of cos I’m making it up as I go along) about the West Swindon sculpture walk – which you could be forgiven for having no knowledge of. This morning I chatted to someone on the bus about this, and she, a long-time resident of Swindon had no idea that many of these sculptures existed. Anyway, at the end of part 2 my companion Kim and myself had ‘done’ ‘Diana Dors’ (see part 1) and ‘How the mighty fall’ (see part 2), so now we were off in search of number 3 on the circuit: ‘White Horse Pacified’. The route to this one takes you through a part of West Swindon I’d never even heard of, let alone walked through: The Bramptons. Blimey! It was like entering another universe. They have a club. With a swimming pool! It was all a bit Stepford actually. Anyway – as ever I digress. The bumph describes the sculpture thus:
‘White Horse Pacified 1987. Artist: Julie Livsey. Materials: Steel and concrete. Project details: The sculpture was completed during an international artist exchange between Swindon and Lisbon, Portugal. Funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Southern Arts, Wiltshire County Council and Thamesdown Borough Council. The work is an interpretation of the famous chalk cut white horses surrounding Swindon’.
I think this might be my least favourite out of the set. But that might in part be because, like the old canal bridge, it is so in need of some TLC. It’s graffitied and there’s branches overhanging it and it’s just such a shame. I mean, how can you not be moved by the idea that, back in the 1980s when this side of town was being developed, a person or persons unknown in (the then) Thamesdown council, had the foresight to put this thing together? I think it’s just marvellous but now – they are unnoticed, unsung and unloved. It’s criminal.
A further point – the friend doing the walk with me lives in Bristol so this was all new to her. So by this point in the proceedings, and not surprisingly, she was voicing the questions I already had in my mind: ‘Why is this not better known?’, Wouldn’t some signage be a good idea?’ and ‘Some labelling on the sculptures themselves could be quite good too’. As I said earlier – people who’ve been here a long time – or even were born here – have no awareness of this thing as an entity. So what flippin’ chance does anyone else stand? SBC, Swindon and Wiltshire tourism – you are missing a trick!
This thing can be walked, even cycled. It can be pic-nic(ed) There’s pub stops and play parks and out-door gyms along the way. It’s a great with a dog. Yeah – if you just want to romp through it all it can be done in a couple of hours. But hey – you could actually make a whole day of this thing. But nobody knows about it! Well not enough people anyroad!!!
Anyway dear readers, next up is ‘Hey Diddle Diddle”. I’ll leave you to think on that one. Until next time…. Here is a link to a map of this sculpture trail.
May 2 2014
Hurrah! This poor neglected equine sculpture has had a clean up. At last. It’s not perfect cos the top of it hasn’t been done – clearly someone was lacking a ladder. But let’s not gripe too much because it does loook soooo much better. Compare and contrast with how it looked last summer – see photos above. This photo was sent to me by a friend and Twitter follower @swindondriver – Thanks for that.