Bluebird Care Launch Recruitment Drive

Bluebird Care Launch Recruitment Drive

Bluebird Care Swindon launch recruitment drive. It comes in a bid to encourage more people to join the care sector in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The company, with carers at the frontline in supporting vulnerable people during the Coronavirus pandemic, has joined Bluebird Care’s ‘It’s Time to Care’ campaign. The campaign is urging people to consider various care roles. That way they can help more vulnerable people stay well and independent at home.

Bluebird Care launch recruitment drive - Ben Curtis of Bluebird care

“Our services enable customers to remain in their own homes surrounded by the things that matter to them most,” said Ben Curtis, Managing Director of Bluebird Care Swindon. “Despite these challenging times, we need to ensure that we can continue to do this. Now more than ever, we need everyone to come together and lend a helping hand.” 

The hardworking team at Bluebird Care Swindon are continuing to support their customers to stay safe at home during the lockdown period. Initiatives include doing their shopping, and collecting and delivering medicines.

Ben added: “At Bluebird Care, we can offer a range of rewarding roles, which provide stability and safety. Whatever your skills, we want to hear from you. We’ll provide full training.

Bluebird Care Launch Recruitment Drive

For more information about working for Bluebird Care Swindon, visit, call 01793 239499 or email

Go here for more Swindon in Business posts.

Richard Wintle: Photographing Swindon’s History

Richard Wintle: Photographing Swindon’s History

March 31 2020

A Picture Is Only the Start of The Story

Richard Wintle, known to many Swindonians as the man photographing Swindon’s history through the decades, has been busy! As you’d expect for a press photographer, Richard has a VAST archive of photographs. And he’s put some of them into a book: A Picture Is Only the Start of The Story.

NB: Not only Swindon of course. Richard’s work took him far and wide.

Having seen a talk that Richard gave to Swindon Civic Voice members, I’ve a good idea of the gems that you’ll find in this book. See one extract from it below:

Extract from A Picture Is Only the Start of The Story - The Hungerford Massacre. Richard Wintle: Photographing Swindon's History
The Hungerford Massacre

In Richard’s own words:

Surrounded by my archive of about four million film-based and digital images, gathered over more than four decades of press photography in Swindon, I’ve discovered connections that run through the archive that weren’t obvious at the time.

In the book I reveal the connection between the Magic Roundabout and the Seekers pop group. And the connection between a Eurovision Song Contest entrant and a flight over the North Atlantic. I show how a work experience boy saw history made, as well as the story behind finding an unknown Swindon pop idol.

Then you’ll see how come there were twelve winners of a Miss Thamesdown competition.

During the book’s meander I explain too, the pictures we took that were published at the time but can’t be published now.

Diana Dorssee more on her here on the blog

Extract from A Picture Is Only the Start of The Story - Diana Dors. Richard Wintle: Photographing Swindon's History

A Picture Is Only the Start of The Story takes you on a voyage. A voyage of picture stories covered by Calyx Picture Agency. The journey traveres the decades, linking the protests, as the Railway Works closed, to Honda announcing it closure.

Richard Wintle: Photographing Swindon’s History, meanders through a series of interesting links as it wanders the modern-day Swindon story. As it goes it visits many events and places. At the same time it explains some of the technological changes to the industry during and the back stories associated with the agency.

“Richard’s life as a press photographer gave him with an excellent vantage point to document major local events.Drawing on his vast archive of images, Richard has created a truly unique book, capturing local life in a way unlike any other publication “ The Local Studies team, Swindon Libraries

Richard Wintle: Photographing Swindon's History - front cover of Richard's book

How to get hold of the book

The Covid-19 pandemic has rather put paid to a physical book launch. But fret not!! For you can still get a signed copy of the book through the Calyx website by following this link here.

It costs  £14.95 + £2.50 P&P (UK only). NB: At the time of writing Richard has only about 20 copies available.


£1 from every sale goes to Neuroendocrine Cancer UK. The book will be available through local outlets when COVID-19 passes and life as we have known it returns to something like normal.

Unsigned copies for international sales through Amazon by following this link here.

The mock up of the F35 stelth fighter on show at RAF Fairford as the worlds largest military air show gets under way at the Gloucestershire air base. - Clayx media.
©Calyx Modern day Teridactor? The mock up of the F35 stelth fighter on show at RAF Fairford as the worlds largest military air show gets under way at the Gloucestershire air base.
5 Reasons to Blog Now!

5 Reasons to Blog Now!

March 2020

If you’ve not done business blogging before here’s 5 reasons to blog now!

In normal circumstances, regular business blogging activity is a thing you should do. Along with brushing your teeth.  And you can find a bit more about business blogging and its benefits here

Yet we don’t have normal circumstances. What we have is a Covid-19 pandemic throttling the world. So here’s a few pointers on why you should fingers to keyboard pronto.

5 Reasons to Blog: Now! - wordpress editing screen

1. Staying visible when you can’t do face-to-face networking/markets/run a bricks and mortar shop etc

This is paramount. This situation WILL end. And when it does you’ll be able to reopen your shop or trade at a market or restart whatever it is that you do. But you won’t be on your own in that will you?  Other shop owners/creatives/market traders/small business owners will be re-opening/shifting up a gear too. 

So, if you’ve stayed visible with regular blogging you’ve a fighting chance of those potential customers remembering you. 

2. You’ve got the time!

This is your chance to plan a few months’ worth of blogging content.

Once you have it planned I can help you with getting your blogs written. If you really don’t want to write, or you can’t write (it’s not everyone’s forte) or you can write but want someone to give it a sanity check – I can help. More on that at the end. 

And – if you’ve got more time to get blogs out there, then by extension, people will have more time to read them.

3. Answer your client’s pain points by writing blogs that offer solutions

I recommend you read They ask – You answer for more on this. 

Blogging drives traffic to your website. And website visits are what makes your Google juice extra flavoursome. Think about it. Google isn’t a knowledge provider. Google is a juggernaut of an information vessel transporting all the information out there on the WWW to people looking for it.

I read something the other day that said: ‘As of January 2020, there are 4.5 billion Internet users. And a big chunk of claim to be reading blogs on a regular basis.’

And we’ve already ascertained a chunk of them find themselves with time to read all of a sudden.

So get providing the knowledge for Google to transport.

5 Reasons to Blog: Now! - Word cloud

4. Build your online brand without selling

Telling isn’t selling – it’s that mindset that’s given selling a bad name. Instead, use your blogging to provide valuable content and show your expertise. Give your readers value and you’ll gain recognition in the community.

Become an authority in your niche – and that will build your online brand. 

5. Build up a store of content that you can use again and again

You can repurpose each blog into shorter posts to use on your social media content. Canva is a useful tool here. With Canva you can create a series of image-based posts that you can use on all your social media platforms. And, so long as the content isn’t topical, you can recycle them over and over. Social media timelines are busy places, people soon forget what they’ve seen. You might need to tweak a bit here and there of course. But you can soon build up a library of material for your marketing purposes.

5 Reasons to Blog Now! AND BLOG OFTEN!

Here’s how I can help

Watch this short film for a visual explanation of how my business activities wrap around this Born Again Swindonian blog. And read this post.

My Offer

In Swindon in Business we can put either a feature on your business like this one about Pink & Green organic skincare. Or we can do a content marketing piece. Something like this one about 3D Printing and SED Developments.

The big value of these pieces is the back-link to your business website and your social media platforms from a large site, updated regularly with frequent traffic. The articles sit there and Google does its thing. 

A one-off Swindon in Business feature costs £79.99. The price includes writing, uploading onto my blog and optimising for SEO and some initial social media activity to get it some traction. You can of course share the link to it across your own platforms. 

See all Swindon in Business posts here.

Then, beyond that, for regular blogging help there are two ways of doing it:

  1. Bash the blog/s out and send to me for proof-editing. I’ll make it readable and help Google to love it.
  2. I can ghost write them for you.

One blog to research and write is £55. I apply a modest discount to subsequent blogs and regular work, rather than one-offs.

I can also create a series of Canva posts for you to use on your social media platforms, to get extra mileage from your blogs. Most blogs will yield 4 to 6 suitable snippets of information. These are £5 each or 6 for £25.00.

Swindon and Wiltshire Creatives

For people that make/create these 5 reasons to blog now. are equally valid. For you there’s a Made in Wiltshire section on the blog. In here we can do a lovely feature about what you do. This one about Simon Webb is a good example. As is this feature about Dona Bradley, Architectural Illustrator.

In normal circumstances I have a two tier charge system for these features:

1. £80 for professionals
2. £40 for hobbyists.

In these extraordinary circumstances, I’m running a special offer on these posts. From April to end June, the cost is £60 for professionals and £30 for hobbyists.

To enquire about all of the services on offer here, you can email this blog, contact me on or via my Born Again Swindonian Facebook page.

5 Swindon Books to Read Now

5 Swindon Books to Read Now

March 2020

5 Swindon Books to Read Now – and yes two of them are mine … to pass pandemic purdah time

So, we’re in the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic and at best are faced with a prolonged period of social distancing. Or at worst, lockdown, as we have at the time of reading.

So here’s five of the MANY Swindon books out there, fiction and non-fiction, written by Swindonians, with which to pass some fruitful time. Well, in fact, the title’s a bit of a cheat. Cos it’s four books and a DVD!

If you haven’t got them on your bookshelves now (and you might but not have read them) then head to the shop in Swindon central library as soon as you can. That said, some of the books included are available on mail order.

So – in no particular order:

1. A Swindon Wordsmith – George Ewart Hobbs

A Swindon Wordsmith - George Ewart Hobbs

By Noel Ponting & Graham Carter

‘George Ewart Hobbs’ vivid writing provides us with a unique and brilliantly observed insight into everyday and so-called “ordinary” life in Swindon a century ago.

In normal life you can find this book in the central library. It is though also available on Amazon. Click here to buy.

See also:

2. Secret Swindon

When we’re not on lockdown you can find Secret Swindon in our central library and Waterstones in Swindon. I have some copies, so if interested contact me on my Born Again Swindonian Facebook page – link below – or via this blog.

It’s also on Amazon here.

3. Swindon in 50 Buildings

Swindon in 50 Buildings

There’s a map in the front of this one. The buildings are divided into areas. So, maintaining social distance of course, you could always go exploring with book in hand.

More info on Swindon in 50 Buildings here.

In non Covid-19 times you can get this book from Swindon central library and Waterstones.

I have a few copies for sale. If you’re interested contact me via my Born Again Swindonian Facebook page which I’ll post below.

It’s also available on Amazon here.

You can contact me via my Born Again Swindonian Faceboook page here.

4. Struggle and Suffrage in Swindon: Frances Bevan

cover of struggle and suffrage in Swindon

From the website of Pen & Sword books:

‘As the industrial revolution and the coming of the railways transformed the Wiltshire countryside Swindon women were on the front line of change, shaping the new industrial town and transforming the old market one.’

It’s a great read is this one.

5. Railway Town: Martin Parry

Okay – so this isn’t a book it’s a DVD. I bet some of you have got DVD players gathering dust. Dig them out!

Available via mail order from Swindon Viewpoint.

More on Swindon Viewpoint Community Media here.

5 Swindon Books to Read Now

5 Swindon Books to Read Now - covers of books
No 10: Arkell’s Ales

No 10: Arkell’s Ales

24th March 2020

Well listeners. This Swindon in 50 Drinks post No 10: Arkell’s Ales, is something of a milestone. Not because it’s the 10th post in the series. Oh no. Rather, it’s because today is the day after our current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, put the country into a condition that is lockdown in all but name. The reason for that being the pandemic Covid-19 – also known as the coronavirus.

It’s all rather frightening TBH. And of course it’s curtailed my plans to progress this series of the blog – for obvious reasons. But – I happened to have a couple of bottles of Arkell’s in my store. Thus this post – the last for a while.

Me on YouTube with a rather unfortunate stop point!:

About Arkell’s Brewery

If you’ve got a copy of Swindon in 50 Buildings you’ll be familiar with Arkell’s. If you haven’t got a copy – why not? I have some – get in touch. 🙂

The Arkell’s website’s history page has an informative timeline of their history – it’s well worth a look – and a detailed history.

Here’s a small extract:

‘John Arkell was a remarkable man. Born into a farming family in 1802 in Kempsford, South Gloucestershire, he emigrated to the New World in his late twenties and took with him a group of local people who sought a refuge from the tough conditions endured by agricultural folk at that time. It was a brave step.

They arrived in Canada and established the small community of Arkell – which still exists today – but three years later, John returned for love. His fiancée preferred to live in England so he came home to marry and set up home in Stratton St Margaret, near Swindon, where he grew barley on his farm.’

The step from there to brewing beer was an obvious one. At that time, many pubs and even private homes, brewed beer. But John Arkell’s foresight saw the potential for supplying beer to a string of other pubs along with his own, recently-bought Kingsdown pubs.

With immaculate timing, he picked a moment when Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Swindon’s founding father, chose Swindon to site his GWR Works. Thus the once-sleepy market town was already growing into a thriving – and thirsty – industrial heartland.

The Beers – No 10: Arkell’s Ales

It’s clear that Arkell’s have a rather large selection of beer – and I only have two of them. The two that you see in the picture below.

When we’re in better and Covid-19 controlled times once more do visit their grain and grape warehouse:

No 10: Arkell's Ales

The Malthouse Craft Lager

They describe this beer on their website thus:

‘Since its release in 2013 to celebrate our 170th anniversary, our lager, 1843 Craft Lager, has become one of our most popular, award-winning brands. 

This is a classic ‘craft’ lager brewed using pale malt with some wheat added for extra body and mouth feel and traditional lager hops. It is gradually fermented at a much lower temperature and matured for 3 weeks in tank at an even lower temperature to produce a pleasant, light, refreshing beer. 

This year as part of our 175th anniversary and after consulting some of our loyal drinkers we have decided to update its name to Malthouse Craft Lager, named after the old Malthouse that was built here at the brewery by our founder John Arkell in 1877.’

And that’s it for now, for #swindonin50rinks See you on the other side I hope!