Cheeky Little Prints is 10!

Cheeky Little Prints is 10!

The woman behind local pet keepsake & personalised gift company celebrates 10th anniversary 

Cheeky Little Prints is 10!
Cheeky Little Prints founder Lisa Berry is thrilled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her Swindon-based business. Lisa’s business specializes in personalised paw print jewellery alongside bespoke paw print gifts and keepsakes. 

In April 2009 Lisa, then aged 26, who lives in the Covingham area of Swindon took the plunge to launch the company from home. A trained veterinary nurse, she has, as you’d expect, a love of animals.

Lisa set up shop on her kitchen table, working on customer orders, while her children were asleep in bed.

Says Lisa: ‘working with people and their pets I got to see first hand just how much we love our furry friends – myself included. Whenever one passed, the pain and loss suffered really brought home just how much they meant to their owners. That’s why I came up with the idea of creating these very special mementoes.’

Print Kits for Pet Owners

Cheeky Little Prints became one of the first businesses in the UK to make print kits for pet owners to use to put their own pets’ paw prints on paper themselves.

‘Over the last decade the business has evolved and really taken off. Just as parents love to capture their children, animal lovers also want to see their pets in personalised items especially paw prints.’

Today, Lisa continues to run her web-based business from her home office in Swindon, yet customer orders come in from all over the world, including the US. What has taken Lisa by surprise is the personal contact pet owners want. 

‘Every order has a special story behind it and my customers love to share their paw print stories with me. It’s why I’m also launching a gallery on social media and on my website allowing customers the opportunity to show the mementoes they’ve created and to share their pets’ stories.’

‘After ten years of building the business and running it alongside my family I’ve now got a good idea about what clients love. It’s why we’ll be expanding the business in the next few months.’

Lisa is also a voice for single parents in business. She faced the personal challenge of going through a divorce while her business was starting out and is now a member of the national organisation Single Mums Business Network.

Now she supports other entrepreneurs facing similar situations. 

For more information on Cheeky Little Prints visit:  https://cheekylittleprints.co.uk and find Lisa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cheekylittleprintsandgifts/

Ken White Triptych Lydiard House

Ken White Triptych Lydiard House

August 2019

Ken White Triptych Lydird House

Well. here’s a thing. These past few months, alongside writing Swindon in 50 Buildings, I’ve been working concurrently on Ken White’s story: A Ken White Retrospective.

I, like many other people I daresay, had formed the impression that the only piece of Ken’s Swindon work, still in existence, is the Golden Lion mural.

So imagine my surprise when, just t’other day, a tweet appeared on my Twitterfeed from the friends of Lydiard Park with an image of a painting of Lydiard House, that Ken did in 2005. I rather get the impression it’s been in storage or something. Certainly, I’ve been in that house more than a few times and never seen it. Even now it’s leaning against the wall in a tucked away corner of the rooms that are open.

Which rather begs the question Lydiard House management, WHY in God’s name do you not have this artwork on permanent display and shout it from the room tops? With Ken’s story due to be published soon you’re missing one heck of a marketing opportunity. #justsaying

Ken White's tryptych at Lydiard House

Ken created the triptych as a joint project between Ken and Intel. Some Intel staff did some of the painting. The idea of the artwork was, according to Ken, for children to find things in the painting around the house.

Indeed, hidden in the bottom right hand corner is the image of a very famous Swindon figure.

What else is there to see at Lydiard House?

Well. Quite rather a lot actually. The member of staff on duty, Adrian Smith, gave me a bit of a tour explaining some of the paintings etc. He’s really very knowledgeable – as you’d expect – and I must seek him out again and pay more attention. Why? Because, TBH, I was too stunned about the Ken White triptych to concentrate fully. That and thinking, as Adrian spoke, that small in number as the available rooms at Lydiard might be – there’s a heck of a lot of stuff that is simply not shouted about enough. WHY is Swindon so bad at this?

For example on this visit I noticed a couple of watercolours that I rather liked, created to accompany a 1951 newspaper article about the house written by none other than Aldous Huxley of Brave New World fame.

water colour of lydiard

I also rather liked this one:

Artwork in Lydiard House showing the Golden Cavalier monument in St Mary's Church.

Then there’s the Socchi desk, the portrait of Lady Diana Spencer – ancestor of the Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales we all know. And so much more.

So – if you’ve never been – or you’ve never been for a while, give it another look. https://www.lydiardpark.org.uk/info/8/lydiard-house-0

No 1: Ouzo – it’s all Greek to me

No 1: Ouzo – it’s all Greek to me

Swindon in 50 Drinks

7th August 2019

No 1: Ouzo
Four days ago myself, family and friends were out celebrating the launch at the Baker’s community cafe, of my second book Swindon in 50 Buildings.

Me outside the Baker’s Cafe talking about the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPBP2KfyhIs&feature=youtu.be

Now, more than once in recent weeks the topic of covering Swindon in 50 Drinks arose. It was somewhat tongue-in-cheek TBH. But then I got to thinking ‘Why not?’ Something a little different for this blog. I hasten to point out that this series of posts WILL feature non-alcoholic drinks too!

So these posts are not about drinks that are #madeinswindon – that would be beer and nothing else I imagine. Though no doubt someone can put me right on that. No, this series of posts are intended as a light-hearted journey around drinks once can enjoy in Swindon. I aim to namecheck 50 different establishments on this journey.

Ergo, being as how the location for my book launch celebrations was the Greek Olive, what better drink to have for No 1 in this series than Ouzo?

My sister knocking back her complimentary ouzo shot at the Greek Olive on Faringdon Rd.

Ouzo


According to Wikipedia, ‘Ouzo (Greek: ούζο, IPA: [ˈuzo]) is a dry anise-flavoured aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece , Cyprus and North Macedonia. Its taste is similar to other anise liquors like rakıarakpastis and sambuca.’

And for a one-minute history of ouzo read this article here.

According to this article from The Spruce Eats,:

‘There is an old Greek saying that “ouzo makes the spirit” and this is especially true in Greece. The Greek spirit or kefi (KEH-fee) is found in hearty food, soulful music, and the love of lively conversation. A glass of chilled ouzo is the perfect companion to all of these things.

Most people would agree that ouzo is Greece’s most popular alcoholic drink. No other beverage is as uniquely Greek or as closely linked to a culture as ouzo is to Greece. In fact, in 2006, the Greek government won the exclusive rights to use the product name ouzo.’


All I have to say to that is Yammas!



New Murals in Swindon

New Murals in Swindon

Swindon used to be a town full of murals. Many, though not all, were the work of Ken White. Only one of his now remains and that’s the Golden Lion mural which you can see in the image below. Now though there are some new murals in Swindon.

From the Swindon Advertiser: https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10680151.remembering-the-days-of-our-glorious-murals/

See also: https://swindonian.me/my-publications/a-ken-white-retrospective/ and https://swindonian.me/category/artscultureheritage/ken-white/

NB: Image below of the Golden Lion mural by Roger Ogle for Link Magazine when Ken had refreshed and reworked the mural a few years back now

ken white and golden lion mural
Image by Roger Ogle for Link Magazine

A couple of decades back, Thamesdown arts produced an art trail leaflet. I can’t reproduce that here for copyright reasons. But Duncan and Mandy’s splendid website has a list of what was in that leaflet here.

1. The ‘Swindon: Then, When and Now’ Mural

Now though, thanks to a lot of hard work by the lovely people at Artsite (cutting a long story short) and the artist Billy Beaumont, and we have this super, glorious mural.

On the side of the Artsite building in Theatre Square is the glorious, IMHO, ‘Swindon: Then, When and Now mural.

See also: https://swindonian.me/category/artscultureheritage/artist-and-the-post-modern/

Here’s a short video of Ken White cutting the ribbon to officially ‘unveil’ the mural: https://youtu.be/1zLcUXQwhdU

Mural No 2: ‘My Town – My World

The other mural to brighten up Swindon’s walls is the one entitled ‘My Town – My World’

As this article in the Swindon Advertiser explained, Swindon-born street artist Martin Travers, who runs educational programmes in Amsterdam and Kathmandu worked alongside Peter Crowdy to create this mural.

‘The inSwindon BID team, in partnership with Artsite and Swindon Climate Action Network, launched the project to help re-energise the town centre and boost community arts.’

On his Facebook page, Martin says: ‘Locality is about things that take place within an area – theatre, arts, creativity – that’s what makes a place.’ He’s not wrong.

Richard jefferies quote - My Town - My World'  mural in Swindon

The quotation used on the mural is from our very own Richard Jefferies: ‘If every plant and flower were found in all places, the charm of locality would not exist. Everything varies, and that gives the interest.’


The GWR Park

The GWR Park

The GWR or Faringdon Road Park

The GWR Park, in the centre of Swindon’s award-winning GWR Railway Village conservation area began life in 1844 as a cricket ground. In that year, the GWR bought land from Lt.Col.Vilett, a local landowner. That land, to the west of the new Railway Village, between Faringdon Road and St Mark’s Church became first a cricket ground and later the GWR Park – known also to some as The Plantation or Victoria Park. 

Aside from cricket, the park played – and still does play – a big role in the social life of the the railway village residents and wider Swindon. As such it occupies a special place in Swindon’s history.

Read a detailed history of the park here: https://www.swindon.gov.uk/download/…/id/…/history_of_faringdon_road_park.pdf

The Children’s Fete


The Children’s Fete is Swindon’s oldest summer event – dating back to 1866. Organised by the Mechanics’ Institution, it ran until 1939 (except during the Great War) and was only halted by the outbreak of WWII. In 2003, the Mechanic’s Institution Trust revived the tradition and have run it most year’s since. 

The Trust maintains the tradition of providing a free piece of cake to all the children attending. Thus, the event has once again become a popular and recognisable part of Swindon’s social calendar.

Sadly, the ornamental, formal gardens, along with the cricket pavilion, the bandstand and glasshouses are long gone. There’s a lovely archive photo of the park here on the Historic England website.

GWR Park first world war memorial

The park does though have a small play area for tiny tots. And, installed in November 2018, in the park’s northwest corner, a WWI memorial. It affords a peaceful spot for some quiet contemplation. 

A park with a view

What makes this park stand out is what you can see from it. As you walk around the park you can see several of Swindon’s land marks. There’s the water tower and UTC, St Mark’s Church of course. Then there’s Park House and – towering over everything, the David Murray John Tower. Not forgetting the view up to Radnor Street cemetery.

And besides all that, and despite the fact that the glasshouses and ornamental gardens are long on, it’s a lovely park. As soon as you’re a few steps inside it the traffic noise of Faringdon Road recedes and it’s all tranquil greenery.

He’s Out!

This article from Swindon Web. ‘Faringdon Park was also the venue for one of cricketing most unusual moments, when in 1870 the great W.G.Grace (world renowned as one of the greatest players ever to pick up a bat and ball) was dismissed for a duck in both innings when playing for Bedminster against the New Swindon side.’ And that’s not cricket!!

And the Swindon Advertiser on the same topic: https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/12863957.there-but-for-the-wg-grace-how-swindon-railway-worker-humiliated-cricket-icon/

How to get to the park

https://www.swindon.gov.uk/directory_record/8465/faringdon_road_park

Subscribe to our news?

We send out a regular and frequent blog, the subject matter is usually Swindon or Swindon related, if you would like to receive the updates please leave your details below.