5th November 2023

Three West Swindon writers collaborate. Angela Atkinson, Frances Bevan and Roger Ogle have come together to author a book all about West Swindon, where all three live.

It began as a small-scale project between Angela and Roger, chronicling a number of the interesting buildings in the Western Expansion. With mention of those that no longer exist. But it was soon obvious that there was so much more to tell about the area. So the pair decided to bring in local historian, Frances Bevan.  

Said Angela:

‘We realized that, to to do West Swindon proper justice, we had to include the stories of Lydiard House, its farms and St Mary’s church. Thus involving Frances Bevan was a simple a no-brainer, thanks to the painstaking research and writing she’s already done. Otherwise we’d have been re-inventing the wheel.’

It’s quite a common perception that West Swindon is a soulless, urban conurbation offering nothing very much. Well aside from easy access to the M4. Yet as this book reveals, there’s rich history there. Indeed, the story stretches way back before the modern development, and before the St. John family hunted the parkland around our much-loved Lydiard House. The Romans lived and died – and made bricks in this area.

Three West Swindon Writers Collaborate - new book about West Swindon
West Swindon Book Covers

Weaving a tapestry

The authors have woven a rich tapestry of West Swindon. It starts with its Roman beginnings and goes through to the how and why of the western expansion, the name of the area almost fifty years ago as the first residents arrived. Forming part of the tapestry’s pattern are public art and open spaces, ancient hedgerows and the selection of street names. It’s rounded off with a focus on some of the more striking and interesting 20th century buildings that West Swindon boasts. The book’s also richly illustrated with interesting, and some rarely seen, photographs.

Where to buy it

Published by Hobnob Press, the book retails at £14.95. You can find it at Bert’s Books in Swindon’s Old Town, the central library shop in Swindon town centre, Waterstone’s in Swindon and the Hobnob Press website here: https://www.hobnobpress.co.uk/books/p/west-swindon-what-the-eye-doesnt-see-by-angela-atkinson-frances-bevan-and-roger-ogle

The authors are launching the book at the Village Inn in Shaw village centre, West Swindon, on Tuesday 14thNovember from 6pm to 9pm. They’re offering the book at a special launch offer price of £13. 

They’re also planning a couple of promotional events at the West Swindon Centre. But they haven’t yet confirmed dates for those.

If you live in West Swindon the authors will deliver the book to you free of charge. If you’re further afield, there’s a £2 P&P charge. 

From left to right, Frances Bevan, Angela Atkinson and Roger Ogle with a banner kindly sponsored by West Swindon based company Interprint.
From left to right, Frances Bevan, Angela Atkinson and Roger Ogle with a banner kindly sponsored by West Swindon based company Interprint.

You can find a little more information about the book here:

And see also:

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