Or Now There Are Six

25th September 2015

The Double Helix of Carfax. Last year I published a post about the Seven Wonders of Swindon as described by the writer Jasper Fforde:

Welcome to the Seven Wonders Of Swindon, compiled for your visiting pleasure by the Swindon Ministry of Information in association with the City Council and the Swindon Special Committee for Wonders.”

Sadly number three of FForde’s wonders, The Double Helix of Carfax, this literary landmark is no more – due its demolishment by Swindon council.

Described by Fforde thus:

‘Only just pipping the Railway Village to the number three slot, Swindon’s famous and groundbreaking early design in stressed steel concrete laid the groundwork for Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gaudi and many others.

Designed by Swindon University physicist Alvin Suggs in 1893 as a friction compensated slope to study Galileo’s theories of conservation of momentum, ‘Sugg’s Marble run’ as it became known gained unexpected fame in the new and untried building technique of steel reinforced or ‘stressed’ concrete.’

Its loss leaves a gap in the market for a new wonder. 

Here’s some photographs taken by Mark Kent shortly before its demise:

To see more of Mark’s photographs go here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/flamesworddragon  NB: They go far wider than Swindon!

Another of FForde’s wonders of Swindon forms part of the West Swindon Sculpture walk. And that is none other than Diana Dors – in Fforde’s world the MUCH-LARGER-THAN-LIFE Lola Vavoom.

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