Born Again Swindon BackgroundBlogging positive on all things Swindon
Okay. So the blog title, Born again Swindonian, gives the impression that I was born in Swindon, left and returned in later years. Hence ‘Born again’. That’s not the case but it’s the best I can come up with that remotely suits my position. I moved to Swindon from a northerly part of the country in the early 1990s. Swindon is now definitely home and I’ve grown very fond of the place. The blog name is meant to be a play on the more common connotation of ‘born again’ – and I am somewhat evangelical in my mission to dispel the all-too-common perception that there is nothing in Swindon to enjoy and celebrate. But there is – and that’s why I started the blog.
Swindon is anything but soulless. Beneath a sometimes uninspiring exterior there is most definitely a healthy heart of art and creativity and culture, parks and green spaces, good food and coffee and of course its rich railway heritage!
Tiring of all the,’the best thing about Swindon, is the train pulling out of it’ cracks I thought I’d try and redress the balance a bit. And anyway, given the extortionate cost of a train ticket to and from Swindon thanks to the greed of FGW, how can that statement even be true?
So this blog was conceived as way of addressing that received wisdom about the town – and as a means to amassing material for a travel writing module that I followed in my 3rd year at UWE when I did my degree – the travelogue I wrote, centred around the West Swindon sculpture trail is one of the pieces that came out of that and can be read on the blog here: https://swindonian.me/2014/05/24/the-west-swindon-sculpture-trail-a-travelogue/
My starting point when I began blogging back in May 2013 was my personal, and far from definitive, list of: Ten things to celebrate about Swindon: https://swindonian.me/category/ten-things-to-celebrate-about-swindon/ There are of course many more and indeed the blog has grown enormously since then.
As Swindon Heritage said in the preface to an issue of their splendid Swindon Heritage magazine: I use the blog ‘ … to celebrate Swindon’s rich heritage and spread the word to those who still doubt Swindon and its many qualities.’
- Born and raised in Whitwell, Derbyshire. Nearest town Worksop, Notts and nearest city Sheffield. So Robin Hood and Peak District country.
- Moved to Swindon with No 1 daughter (okay only daughter) in 1992 or thereabouts
- Worked at Swindon Research Councils for about 16 years until early retirement in 2009
- Did a year volunteering with an adult literacy group at Swindon college and undertook courses in teaching in the lifelong learning sector: PTLLS and CTTLS. Then I went to UWE to get an education! 🙂
- May 2014 – Joint English Hons BA graduate – 1st class don’t ya know!? 🙂
When I left my part of the world to move to this part of the world I left behind an area that was still ravaged from the legacy of the 1980s miners’ strike. Coming here truly felt like arriving in the land of milk and honey. Hence to a large extent my fondness for and advocacy of Swindon and the decision to create this Swindon blog.
The blog has a Facebook page where you will find links to what’s on the blog and much more besides, so connect with me there.
Latest Swindon Ramblings
I’m always looking for new and interesting angles to share when out and about in Swindon.
15th December 2018 The Journey Last weekend saw me - and many others - in Swindon's Old Town being part of The Journey. The Journey, as described on photographer Elmar Rubio's website, was 'an immense, immersive theatrical telling of the Christmas story'. It entailed...
12th December 2018 Aladdin at The Wyvern Aladdin: Saturday 8th December - Sunday 6th January 2019 To clear any doubt: the story of Aladdin didn't start life as a Disney franchise. Aladdin is, in fact, is a folk tale originating in the Middle East. Aladdin is one of...
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When I’m not being Born again Swindonian and writing Swindon-related books I offer proofreading, editing and writing services as AA Editorial Services.