At last! I’ve managed to get my copy of The Swindon book from the tourist information desk at the central library. As the back cover says, the book is:
‘The story of Swindon, from the earliest times to the present day, is here encapsulated in an alphabetical compendium of people who have influenced its development, places that have given character to its landscape and important events that have punctuated its history. The SWINDON BOOK, written by an eminent local historian, and writer on history, topography and architecture, is a unique and readable distillation of the centuries’.
Hmmm, well, I won’t lie – a bit of plain English wouldn’t have come amiss on that back cover. In other words, it’s a collection of lovely, conveniently bite-sized titbits arranged in alphabetical order. So don’t let the somewhat purple prose on the back put you off – because it is – as it says – readable. Very. It’s a labour of love stuffed full of all sorts of wonderful nuggets of information that the author has been squirreling away for years.
I haven’t had time to have a thorough browse yet, but I was interested to read that the statue of Diana Dors outside the Shaw Ridge cinema complex was unveiled by no less a movie god than David Putnam. That’s a pretty cool thing I think. As is the book as a whole. It’s really very informative and a ‘must have’ for anyone with any interest in Swindon’s history. It’s a reasonably priced £12.99 – so go buy one! It’s my understanding they are selling like the proverbial hotcakes so you might need to be fleet of foot to the information desk in the library.
Of course, other people’s writings are a useful source/resource for one’s own. I used these books and others for reference when writing Secret Swindon. And am again for my current project Swindon in 50 Buildings.