Born again Swindonian background

Blogging positive on all things Swindon

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I’m Angela Atkinson and I’m Born Again Swindonian – amongst other things. 

I moved to Swindon back in the 1990s from a part of the country devastated by the 1980s pit closures. Coming to Swindon was truly like coming to the land of milk and honey.

Swindon afforded me opportunities and facilities that were not easily obtainable back in my part of Derbyshire / Nottinghamshire. And that’s a big part – but not the whole story – behind my fondness for, and advocacy of, Swindon and the decision to build this Swindon-centric blog.

I’m aware of Swindon’s flaws. But who can show me the perfect urban conurbation? A good friend of mine, Carole Bent, once wrote a beautiful line or two, exhorting us all to look for the glitter in the concrete and the sparkle in the cement. Now I daresay that was a metaphor and not a direct reference to the urban landscape. Yet it’s applicable. It’s fair to say that the glitter in Swindon’s concrete is sometimes elusive. But look hard enough and you’ll see it twinkle. And this blog is a testament to that.

Swindon – Soulless?

Never! 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!

My Origins

I came here in the early 1990s from a once-mining village on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border. Nearest town Worksop. Nearest city (and it wasn’t that near) Sheffield. Other nearby places, Mansfield and Chesterfield. So, as you see, on the edges of three counties in effect. Derby, the county town, was waaaaaaaay the other side of a large county – never went there, never had cause to. Here be dragons was Derby.

When I left my part of the world to move to this part of the world, I left behind an areas 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.

Swindon station sign - born again swindonian background

Social Media 

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.



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  1. helen holly

    Swindon has some great cycle routes too. It is on Sustrans Route 45 which goes from Salisbury right up to Chester. It is also surrounded by by some wonderful countryside and only and hours trainride from London [ if you an afford the fare] What’s not to like?
    Great to see someone extolling Swindon’s virtues!!

  2. amaatk123

    Excellent point Helen. Thanks for that. 🙂

  3. Tracy Cox

    I am a Swindonian .i did leave for a while in the 90’s this only made me love my home town more.(theirs nothing like a dirty city to make you home sick) I have a small family business here, we could have gone to Bath,Bristol or such like but no we wanted to inject a little culture into our home town, the journey has been eventful but the people we meet and the little treasures we find in our quest for all things vintage make it the best move we ever made .

    • amaatk123

      Tracy, great to hear from you on here. And well done on bringing your venture to Swindon. It’s just this sort of thing that I want to show on the blog: that beneath a rather dispiriting exterior there is so much to celebrate in the town. Good luck!

  4. Pam Jones

    We’ve been here 10 years this year and I agree – it’s a great place. So much to do here – just have to find it and get out there. My social life has never been better; met some great people, made some wonderful friends; and with both our businesses running from Swindon; our network and knowledge of the area keeps growing. What a love the most is the vast choice of great pubs we have access to and the wonderful countryside surrounding this town.

    • amaatk123

      Thanks for the comment P! That’s exactly what I’m trying to get across in the blog. You are right, we do have lots of fabulous countryside surrounding the town. But we don’t actually have to leave the town to find green spaces. Apart from the formal parks – which are numerous and varied – there’s acres and acres of green spaces in Swindon itself. A case in point being just behind Shaw Ridge. Walk up from the cinema to the top of the Shaw Ridge and you come out onto a green space. Here it’s easy to forget you are in a conurbation the size of Swindon. It’s only five minutes from the cinema where you can find ‘How the Mighty Fall’ – but really the whole of this walk takes you through so much green space. It is really fabulous. I can’t speak for the other side of town as I don’t know it too well but here in West Swindon we’re particular blessed with walks and green spaces.And of course: public art!! 🙂

  5. Seattle Coffee Scene

    Hi There! My name is Ed. I was wondering if you would be inclined to share one of your Swindonian Coffee Stories on a new blog that I am starting? I would love a story about a cafe in your area of England. Let me know if you would be interested in sharing!

    • amaatk123

      Hello Ed

      Good morning to you. Thank you for your interest in my blog. And yes, I would to share. Let me know who, what where etc. Y’know. Cheers! A

  6. Seattle Coffee Scene

    Hi There – will it be possible to get you’re email for more details? Or you can email me at Basically, you would pic the story of a cafe and pictures and I will post it – give you credit, a link to your website, and anything else you would like to add on the post. I’m trying to create a place where people can discover emerging coffee and food writers from around the world. Im glad you want to be a part of that! – Eddie

  7. Sarah

    Great blog – I just found you after you shared one of our Free Art Friday Swindon posts – I am also a “born again Swindonian” after moving here from the Midlands 14 years ago. It’s not a bad ol’ town, I’m very happy here 🙂

    • amaatk123

      Hey Sarah – thanks for the comment. Yep, I’m happy here too. Cheers! 🙂

  8. PaulAtApex

    Hi Angela, just doing some tests = 2:30 Born again Swindonian background

  9. Ms Osborne

    Reference to the article on Gilberts Carpets – 150 year business in Swindon. The owner has a problem with a fraudulent website, which is mistakenly advertised at the end of your article
    the fake website – – fake phone number
    the real website is –
    you can see fake links on the fraudulent website and this has taken away business from Gilberts which is a real pity, as the owner is a very courteous and knowledgeable person.
    He has tried to trace the website, but not possible so far. The police could not do anything either. I hope that you could help and put the real website on the article – I do not think he is on Facebook.
    He may be losing a lot of business through fraud – so hope you can help – thank you – a customer



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