‘Sorry Swindon’ says Weighbridge Brewhouse

‘Sorry Swindon’ says Weighbridge Brewhouse

July 2nd 2019

‘Sorry Swindon’ says Weighbridge Brewhouse as it relaunches with a little help from its friends.

Hello listeners – few days ago I published this post about the Weighbridge Brewhouse following my invitation to one of their dry runs. So what follows now is their official press release.

Long-established Swindon venue, The Weighbridge Brewhouse, relaunched last week [26 June] with a refurbished restaurant and bar, and changes to its food and drink menus – thanks in part to its friendly Facebook followers

The Weighbridge took to the popular social media site to apologise for previous changes at the venue that hadn’t quite ‘hit the mark’.

The restaurant and bar asked its following to suggest what they would bring back and what new elements they would introduce for relaunch, with the aim of making it up to its loyal customer base.

Followers saw a number of their ideas implemented during a successful four-day relaunch, which invited guests from local businesses, press and loyal customers to the venue to attend lunch and dinner services, experience the new decor and enjoy live music from local artists. 

This included the reintroduction of The Weighbridge Brewhouse’s famed Dauphinoise potatoes, brought back by popular demand to complement its new, broader menu boasting ingredients from handpicked local suppliers and a great offering for those with dietary requirements. 

Drinks at The Weighbridge Brewhouse have also been refreshed with a new cocktail menu – featuring delicious Strawberry Daiquiris and After Eight drinks – and a more extensive wine list by fine wine merchants Berry Bros & Rudd.

The bar area has been overhauled with a striking, illuminated tree at its centre to create an informal bar space and a new feature wall filled with station clocks reconnects to the unique venue’s past as a weighing station for trains. Luxurious teal fabric stools line the bar, updated with new silver chrome pumps, to link the restaurant’s decor. 

The Weighbridge Brewhouse’s restaurant also features further illuminated golden maple trees throughout and a new wall of black and white pictures showcasing the Weighbridge building and Swindon’s railway heritage.

To celebrate its relaunch, The Weighbridge Brewhouse also ran a relaunch raffle to raise money for local Swindon charities, Prospect Hospice and Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home service, as well as Bowel Cancer UK. Prizes from The Weighbridge Brewhouse, its owners the Upham Group, and suppliers – such as Berry Bros & Rudd – as well as ticket purchases and generous donations from its valued customers, helped to raise £1,800 for the three charities.

David Butcher, director at The Weighbridge Brewhouse said: “The relaunch has been a wonderful event, allowing us to showcase the fantastic changes we’ve made to The Weighbridge Brewhouse, from the food and drink menus to the decor, as well as additional training for all our teams.

It’s also enabled us to reconnect with some of our valued customers past and present, who we hope have enjoyed the changes – many of which have been thanks to their feedback online – and we look forward to seeing many more of them over the coming months.” 

David continued: ‘The icing on the cake has been the amount everyone has helped us raise for three amazing charities and we’d like to say a massive thank you to our staff, suppliers and our generous customers for getting behind it.’ 



Latest News from RIAT

Latest News from RIAT

Latest News from RIAT: UK’s first female fast-jet fighter pilot is keynote speaker at inaugural business event at Europe’s biggest air show 

Latest news from The Royal International Air Tattoo’s Business Club

Jo Salter, the UK’s first female fighter pilot, will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Business Club event at this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo. 

She was the first female fast-jet pilot flying The Tornado GR1. She admits that her first flight was the high point of her career at that time of her life. Today, Jo is the Chief of Staff to the Head of Technology and Investment at PwC (Price Waterhouse Cooper)

Helen Webb, Head of Marketing for the Royal International Air Tattoo, said: “We are thrilled Jo has agreed to come along and share her inspirational story with us. She is still heavily linked to the RAF, is a trustee of the RAF Club and a member of 601 Squadron RAuxAF. We know our guests will enjoy hearing more of her experiences.”

Jo was inspired to join the RAF after attending several airshows during her childhood in Croydon. After taking A levels in maths, physics and electronics, she applied to join and, aged 18, became an engineering officer in the Comms-Electronic branch. She also knows Wiltshire and the Cotswolds well as she spent three years studying for her undergraduate degree at Shrivenham and lived nearby during those years. 

“I am looking forward to sharing my view that leadership and achievement are about the person rather than the sector someone works in or the size of their business. I ran my own consultancy for some time and I have learned that from personal experience,” Jo said.

“Diversity isn’t just about gender, race or religion, it’s about thinking differently and allowing people to be their true selves in the workplace.”

Jo will be one of a number of speakers at The Air Tattoo Business Club which will be held for the first time at the show where companies can network in one of the Air Tattoo’s premier hospitality suites.

Guests will spend the day with like-minded organisations, enjoy business round-table discussions with pilots and aircrew who will drop in throughout the day for photo opportunities.

The event starts at 9.00am with refreshments and structured networking followed by guest speakers from 10am-11am.  The flying display is from 11am-3pm with lunch served during this time – those who want to stay in the room can take part in facilitated round-table discussions. Afternoon tea will follow at 3.00pm with guests departing from 4.30pm.

The cost is £220 (plus VAT) per person.  Details are available here https://www.airtattoo.com/bc or email businessclub@rafcte.com 

Public Art at Orbital Centre Flies

Public Art at Orbital Centre Flies

Public art at Swindon’s Orbital centre recognises the role of Swindon people in both the defence of the realm and the town’s transport history

Everyone knows about Swindon’s incredible railway history, and the effect it had on the world during its heyday. But fewer people are aware of is Swindon’s aviation heritage. But this piece of public art at the Orbital centre in north Swindon is doing its bit to spread the word.

Made in Swindon: https://youtu.be/a6YIZnYdarQ

Extending from predictions of manned flight by Swindon’s nature writer Richard Jefferies in the 1800s, to the town’s links with today’s space industry, Swindon reaches for the skies. And beyond.

In the Orbital Shopping Centre in North Swindon, there’s a celebration of the town’s commitment to being at the forefront of transportation and the defence of the nation.

A range of artworks and interpretation boards tell the story. The installation includes paving slabs with pictures from students at Abbey North School, poems from children at Haydon Wick and Haydonleigh Primary Schools, and ever-changing art from other local children in the British Land Visitor Centre.

The centre piece is a sculpture based on the shape and size of a Spitfire wing in honour of the aircraft built in Swindon towards the end of World War II. 

The inspiration, plus the research and design of the sculpture and other works around the Orbital, is the work of local historian/artist Mike Pringle, of Green Rook. Mike is also director of the Richard Jefferies Museum near Coate Water. 

In the following YouTube clip (thanks to Roger Ogle) you can hear Mike talk about the inspiration for the sculpture:

https://youtu.be/TYwMEHQBR3o

The figures within the wing represent the men and women of Swindon involved in the town’s aviation heritage, both in the sky and on the ground. Swindon not only provided pilots for the Battle of Britain, it also provided female pilots for transporting planes from one place to another, as well as many women working on aircraft repair and construction.

Through the centre of the sculpture, the two uprights and the glass panels represent tracks and sleepers of the railways, out of which Swindon’s rich engineering heritage was born.

The figures within the wing represent the men and women of Swindon involved in the town’s aviation heritage, both in the sky and on the ground. Swindon not only provided pilots for the Battle of Britain, it also provided female pilots for transporting planes from one place to another, as well as many women working on aircraft repair and construction.

Through the centre of the sculpture, the two uprights and the glass panels represent tracks and sleepers of the railways, out of which Swindon’s rich engineering heritage was born.

The management of Orbital shopping park,
Broad Gates Estates, commissioned the public art on behalf of British Land. Local fabricators, Stainless Supplies Limited laser cut and welded the sculpture.

The Weighbridge Brewhouse

The Weighbridge Brewhouse

Drawing of the Weighbridge Brewhouse

You may remember the Weighbridge Brewhouse under the management of the people from the Three Crowns at Brinkworth. It’s USP was that it was the same format as the Three Crowns: no starters, large plates of meat, tons of veg and lots of cream and butter. It was the closest thing that Swindon had to Fayn Dayning – though it wasn’t really. I loved it – though these days my digestive system is less enamoured of rich sauces. The desire is strong but the gut is weak.

Anyway – you have to now forget all that.

Cutting a long story short, new management took over the Weighbridge and it all went horribly wrong. Details not needed – suffice to say it went pear-shaped. So the owners, the Upham Group, decided to take stock, do a Fagin, and think it out again.

The place has been refurbed both inside and out. The front courtyard is now astro-turfed and equipped with some super luxus outdoor dining furniture. A mixture of stylish bench seating and tables, chairs and cushions. All with huge parasols. It’s rather smart. I had my eye on the plant pots on the table I admit.

outside seating at the weighbridge brewhouse

The astroturfed outdoor dining area at the restaurant.

While indoors, they’ve reupholstered the seating and installed these rather funky illuminated tress. Possibly slightly kitsch? But I love kitsch. It’s a cavernous place is the Weighbridge so they do fill the space and add atmosphere. Overall a big thumbs up.

Interior of the weighbridge brewhouse

How do I know all this?

Well, as part of their thinking it out again process, the management decided to do some dry runs, with invited guests, to try it all out and – crucially – ask for feedback, before they unleash themselves upon the public. And I , and five fortunate pals, were blessed with an invite. I now feel guilty that the building is not included in Swindon in 50 Buildings … I couldn’t get them all in … sorry …

What were our impressions?

Overall: really good. We’ll definitely go back.

Between us we picked a good cross-section of stuff from the menu. Again overall we were delighted but there were a few niggles – duly fed back at the end of the evening. Someone ordered a quinoa salad which was rather more green than quin … someone else felt that the lobster should have had a sauce and new potatoes rather than fries. While others in the group were delighted with their choices. I for one was happy to see a chimichurri dressing for steak alongside the usual cream sauce and pepper sauce. The sharing dessert platter got rave reviews and the sharing starters platter was also rather nice,

So a bit inconsistent – and needs sorting out. But nothing that would stop us going back.

Also fed back to them was to have low-level table centrepieces rather than tall vases. Nice touch to have them, but it got in the way of our view across the table. After we’d shifted it around umpteen times, Sandra, owner of Fabulous Functions UK and someone who knows a thing or two about table centrepieces, snapped off most of the stalks to create a lovely low arrangement that we could all see over.

Note to management – you’d do a lot worse than speak to Sandra about these things. #justsaying

So that’s it for the negatives. To pick out the positives of the experience:

a. We loved the new look – both inside and out.
b. It’s an interesting menu that will have seasonal variations
c. It has a lovely outside eating area – few and far between in Swindon
d. There’s lots of good places to eat in Swindon but they’re mostly … casual …what the Weighbridge represents is somewhere to go for something a bit special.
e. ABOVE ALL what impressed me was that the management are making a huge effort to put right what evidently went wrong. Kudos to them for that. And I think that deserves our support.

So if you’re one of those that went there in recent weeks and months and weren’t happy – give it another go. They’re working super hard to get it right.


The food pictures

Contact the Weighbridge

Email: info@weighbridgebrewhouse.co.uk
Call: 01793 881500

Their social media:

  1. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWeighbridgeBrewhouse/
  2. Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeighbridgeBH – @WeighbridgeBH
  3. Insta: @weighbridgebrewhouse – https://www.instagram.com/weighbridgebrewhouse/

About the Weighbridge Brewhouse

https://www.weighbridgebrewhouse.co.uk/about-us/

‘Our building used to be a Weighbridge! At the turn of the industrial revolution Weighbridges were used in station yards and at railway depots to weigh goods before they were sent onto their destinations.

Our building is pretty big as it had to be able to house massive amounts of freight. It was nearly derelict when it was purchased and renovated and now is a fantastic dining space with room for 120 downstairs and 30 on our mezzanine level which houses a beautiful glass piano.’

Shoebox Theatre

Shoebox Theatre

At last! It’s been my intention to feature the small but perfectly formed Shoebox Theatre on here for ages of a crow. Yet somehow or other I’ve failed. Never mind – they’re here now!

Who or what are they?

shoebox theatre

The box office/cash desk/reception at the Shoebox Theatre

As it says on the about section of their website:

‘The Shoebox Theatre is a 50-seat flexible studio space in the heart of Swindon’s award winning GWR Railway Village. *

Managed by the Wrong Shoes Theatre Company, the space supports new and contemporary work, hosts an exciting programme of contemporary theatre and provides quality theatre training.’

*In truth the historic and important Health Hydro/Milton Rd baths lie just outside the boundary of the actual railway village conservation area. Though they are in the railway village.

Having been in the Artsite/Postmodern/old post office building on Theatre Square, the theatre company are now ensconced in Milton Road baths in the former laundry rooms. Here, in collaboration with GLL and the Wrong Shoes theatre company, they’ve converted these historic rooms into an affordable fringe theatre and rehearsal venue.

It seems to me that this theatre and arts space is a fabulous addition to Swindon’s cultural offering. I love that they have Swindon-born (well Purton but close enough for government work) Billie Piper as a patron! Before she filled our screens as Rose Tyler in Dr Who, my awareness of her had been a passing one. I’m sure as heck aware of her now as she’s gone from strength to strength. Well done Billie.



Having been in the Artsite/Postmodern/old post office building on Theatre Square, the theatre company are now ensconced in Milton Road baths in the former laundry rooms. Here, in collaboration with GLL and the Wrong Shoes theatre company, they’ve converted these historic rooms into an affordable fringe theatre and rehearsal venue.

It seems to me that this theatre and arts space is a fabulous addition to Swindon’s cultural offering. I love that they have Swindon-born (well Purton but close enough for government work) Billie Piper as a patron! Before she filled our screens as Rose Tyler in Dr Who, my awareness of her had been a passing one. I’m sure as heck aware of her now as she’s gone from strength to strength. Well done Billie.

An Interview with Luke Marquez

A superb way to find out more about Shoebox is to read this interview with Luke Marquez, the artistic director of the theatre.

He’s right in this: ‘Swindon has an abundance of talented young performers and emerging artists but, like me, they were seeking theatre out of town and more importantly they relied on creative opportunities further afield. We needed an affordable creative space to create new work and so do the other amazing talents in the town and that’s what we want to achieve with the Shoebox Theatre.’

The theatre runs an educational programme, with weekly classes for beginners, advanced classes for the more experienced. Also weekly stage combat classes and masterclasses with theatre professionals. Find out more about the theatre’s education programme here.

All in all Shoebox Theatre is a perfect fit. No blisters here! Long may that continue.

The theatre on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wrongshoestheatre





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.