I’ve been to several of them now and they do seem to get better each year. They do a damn good job – all them. On stage and off – the standard is VERY high. All kudos to the Wyvern, to the foundation and to the kids themselves.
I said it then – and I’ll say it again. That young man has ‘it’. So when, in a few year’s time, you see his name in lights remember: you saw him here first.
Here again, in the Wyvern’s Summer Youth Project 2019, in the lead role as Caractacus Potts, the still-only-17-year-old Archie gives a credible performance as as father to two young mother-less children.
A host of memorable performances
But I can’t only talk about Archie Fisher. The production boasts a full complement of super performances. There are not one but two lovely comic duos. Michael Kerr gives a good turn as the infantile Bulgarian Baron – one feels apologies are owed to Bulgaria – and so does Rae Alexander as his long-suffering, indulgent wife.
Amy Gordon made a fitting Truly Scrumptious with her sweet singing voice fitting the role well.
Also deserving a particular mention are Maddy Stimpson-Duffy and Marcellus Hill as Cloris and Goran, the Baron’s bumbling spies sent to get hold of Pott’s car. Lots of laughs from all four! Super stuff.
Both the youngsters playing Pott’s children were scene stealers of course. But I have to give a special word about Mollie Avenell – I felt she too had a notable stage presence.
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.’
I, like many other people I daresay, had formed the impression that the only piece of Ken’s Swindon work, still in existence, isthe 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 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?
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.
‘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.’
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.
‘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.
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.’