1st September 2017

Restoring the Blondinis
First things first listeners: how ON EARTH did it get to be September already?! Now …

In the early days of this blog – in the summer of 2013 even – I wrote a post about the sculpture of the Great Blondinis.  If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about here’s the post in question: https://swindonian.me/2013/06/24/the-great-blondinis-sculpture/

Blondini facts:

The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association ) has these rather dry statistics about the sculpture:

1. Thamesdown Borough Council, with financial assistance from Sun Alliance insurance group, Southern Arts, British Alcan and Metalfast Ltd, commissioned the work.

2. The commission came just before the Swindon rail works closed. It was made in association with British Rail craftsmen.

3. Jon Clinch sculpted it from foundry cast aluminium alloy (LM6).

What that doesn’t say is that this sculpture is the absolute last thing made in the once great GWR works. That singular fact surely affords this sculpture a special significance? Though derided by many I love and still miss its joyful, cheery presence in the town centre.

Tim Carroll restores the Blondinis

I chanced upon some photos on Facebook of Swindon-based artist Tim Carroll restoring the sculpture when it got moved from its original home in Wharf Green to its current location in a play park in Gorse Hill. This was some time ago I should add.

Thank you to Gordon Dickinson for letting me use these images.

This wonderful, exuberant sculpture used to have a prominent position in Wharf Green. Now they’re in a play park in Gorse Hill. I do feel that’s a huge shame. I’d love to see them somewhere prominent once more.

Here they are duly titivated and in situ in Gorse Hill.

The Great Blondinis in Gorse Hill

Find Tim Carrol’s impressive CV here: http://www.timcarroll.yolasite.com/contact-us.php  Tim often uses Swindon and the area as subject matter. I’m particularly fond of his 100 views of Swindon. Would that I had the wall space and the cash! I’m delighted though to own a print of one of his views of the David Murray John Tower and some postcards of some others.

I guess, given the restoration work Tim did on the sculpture, it’s no surprise that he included it in his 100 views of Swindon. Here it is – it’s rather lovely:

Tim Carroll Blondinis 100 views Swindon - the Great Blondinis
Tim Carroll Blondinis 100 views Swindon – the Great Blondinis

There’s a nice article about Tim in the Swindon Advertiser in regards to last year’s open studios: http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/leisure/hobbies_art/14704200.Peep_behind_the_scenes_at_Tim_s_art_studio/

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