26th November 2017

Eastcott community book launch: Legacy of a rag and bone man

Eastcott book rag and bone man

Well listeners! Yesterday was what I call a good Swindon day. The being cold, yet bright and sunny I walked into town from Grange Park. My first stop when I do that is always Paolo’s deli on Commercial Rd for a delicious coffee.

If you’ve not been there yet why not? All I hear, all the time, is ‘what Swindon needs is independent businesses’. Well, I’ve mentioned one fab one right here. So y’know what to do right?

From there it was a nip across Theatre Square to the Artsite Christmas Fair. I love Artsite and the Post Modern. It’s a fantastic collective of artists working together in their studios. I like to get to their Christmas fair when I can because their’s always something to catch your eye. And they’re such fantastic people too. I LOVE that Swindon has got Artsite.

Talking of fantastic people the next thing on my agenda was the launch, in Swindon central library, of a super book put together by Eastcott Community Organisation. Caroline Davis-Khan and Anna Smart do a brilliant job up there – always lots of stuff going on up at Savernake Street hall.

Legacy of a rag and bone man

Anyroad up – with funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund they’ve put together a great little book called ‘Legacy of a Rag and Bone man’  – a century of community life in Eastcott.

Alderman James ‘Raggy’ Powell is not a character  I’ve heard of but many actual born Swindonians most certainly will have. So it’s an education for someone like me and a trip down memory line for many others.

There’s a quote in the book from the lovely Frances Bevan, local historian, who comments that Powell is one of ‘Swindon’s forgotten heroes’. ‘Despite his philanthropic contribution to the town, no street, or building has been named after him’. And, judging by what I’ve read so far, she’s right. But this book surely goes some way to address that?

So a hearty well done and congratulations to everyone involved in it. It’s a super addition to a Swindon-lover’s bookcase.

Caroline Davis Khan in Swindon central library launching their book celebration of James 'Raggy' Powell
Caroline Davis Khan in Swindon central library launching their book celebration of James ‘Raggy’ Powell

See also this post about the unveiling of a plaque at Eastcott community centre in celebration of James Raggy Powell