A Swindon Wordsmith – George Ewart Hobbs

A Swindon Wordsmith – George Ewart Hobbs

A Swindon Wordsmith: The Life, Times and Works of George Ewart Hobbs

Well here’s a bit of a novelty, as Graham Carter himself commented. What is? Me attending someone else’s book launch for a change. Rather than them being at mine – info on my own publications here.

For today saw the launch, at Swindon Central library of a new Swindon book by Noel Ponting and Graham Carter: A Swindon Wordsmith: The Life, Times and Works of George Ewart Hobbs.

And a wonderful addition to Swindon’s own, extensive, literary canon it is.

In this short video, Darryl Moody of Swindon’s fab Local Studies and Noel Ponting talk about the book:

https://youtu.be/zB8GVVo0X64

Who was George Ewart Hobbs?

A Swindon Wordsmith - George Ewart Hobbs - front cover of the book.

The blurb on the book’s back cover tells us that George Ewart Hobbs deserves a place in the hallowed ranks of fellow Swindon writers, Alfred Williams (see Secret Swindon for some information about him) and Richard Jeffries – see also Secret Swindon and Swindon in 50 Buildings.

Our man Hobbs was no exception to the general Swindon rule: for over half a century he worked as a Great Western Railway engineer.

That aside, he wrote prolifically – largely in weekly columns for the Swindon Advertiser.

This book then is more than an account of his life and times. It also, as the title suggests, republishes some of his works. Including articles about religion, philosophy and more.

As the book blurb says: ‘George Ewart Hobbs’ vivid writing provides us with a unique and brilliantly observed insight into everyday and so-called “ordinary” life in Swindon a century ago.’

A Swindon Wordsmith - George Ewart Hobbs - Graham Carter and Noel Ponting

A few words from Graham Carter:

https://youtu.be/3PMZrPuXgOE

A few more photos – and for once we have visual storyteller Royston Cartwright in a photograph. A rare sight indeed.

See also – Other recent Swindon books:

Last Orders – by John Stooke

Legacy of a Rag & Bone Man – Eastcott community


Jamie Martin: The Anomaly Crystal

Jamie Martin: The Anomaly Crystal

I’ve already had the pleasure to feature Lis McDermott, in her authorial capacity, in this Made in Wiltshire section of Born again Swindonian. And in this post, it’s my delight to feature Jamie Martin and his novel, The Anomaly Crystal.

Despite the fact that I’ve now got three non-fiction books, and this blog, well and truly under my belt, I am in awe of anyone that can write fiction. I have neither the imagination nor the staying power for that. And I’m not ‘just saying’ that. I know my limitations and fiction writing is it.

About Jamie’s Book – ISBN: 978-1-4990-9428-2

The Anomaly Crystal is described as an action-packed, science fiction, fantasy war story. This epic tale spans 200 years and is spun from the gripping issues of ancient sorcery and armed conflict upon a mysterious planet. 

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, you’ll find an extract on Google books here: http://bit.ly/1FuRVHD

Says Jamie about his book


Say’s Jamie about his book: ‘I drew my inspiration for this novel from my own interest in the science fiction and fantasy genre – one that I enjoy a great deal in both film and book form.

I wanted to create my own story within the genre for others with the same interests. Besides which, I’d long harboured an ambition to write a book. That motivation and my passion sustained me the three years or so that it took for me to complete The Anomaly Crystal. You see what I mean about needing stickability?

The Anomaly Crystal is the first in a series. The novel’s storyline spans a period of approximately 200 years. It features a great war between the humans and a creature race that live upon a mysterious planet. Within this timeframe, a supernatural artefact called ‘the anomaly crystal‘ that releases elemental magic was created to affect the outcome of this war.’

Jamie Martin: The Anomaly Crystal - book cover

See a trailer for the novel here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Nn_inO4Nkr8

The book is available in paperback and also in audio book form here on Xlibris.Com They say about the book:

‘The outcome from a destined great war between humans and creatures will be decided by the courage and emotions of a few honourable and worthy individuals. Raven is the last blood line descendent from the greatest wizard known as Grackle, and he has found himself living in a time of endless uncertainty, magic and sorcery between the humans and a terrifying creature race residing upon the mysterious Planet of Phoenix. Significant emotional elements, bravery, hatred and love are the fundamental factors for either the humans or the creatures surviving existence during this epic adventure.’

Where to buy Jamie’s Book

To order a copy of this novel, please see links below. Otherwise contact Jamie directly to receive a copy:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-anomaly-crystal-jamie-martin/1121505778

http://www.bookdepository.com/Anomaly-Crystal-Jamie-Martin/9781499094282

Jamie and the book on social media

Jamie has a Facebook page for the book here: https://www.facebook.com/theanomalycrystal

Correct Careers Coaching

To check Jamie out in his other life as Correct Career’s Coaching you can find that here.

Should you want to contact Jamie directly about his book you’ll find him on 07599 332178 and on Jamie@correctcareerscoaching.com

Happy reading!

A Good Man and a Brave Man

A Good Man and a Brave Man

Swindon Civic Voice seem to be something of a literary lot. Chair Angela Atkinson, aka Born again Swindonian, is now the author of three Swindon related books – the second of which – Swindon in 50 Buildings is out now. But she’s not on her own! Oh no. One of their trustees, Alan Gaunt, can also claim authorship as a a thing with his book, A Good Man and a Brave Man.

A Good Man and a Brave Man

‘This is not the story of a traditional hero in the mould of Nelson or Wellington but that of a village shepherd, a local man who did not come from the nobility or the ranks of the nation’s leaders but simply loved his family and died in the service of his country.’

Cecil Packer was a farm labourer, a factory worker, a shepherd and a devoted family man. Like so many others he went to France to fight for his country in the First World War and never returned. Cecil survived both the Gallipoli and Somme campaigns. So for his descendants, his death on the Western Front when his battalion was far from the front line was a mystery as well as a tragedy.

Alan Gaunt, whose wife Shirley is Cecil’s great-granddaughter, set about researching Cecil’s humble but interesting life and finally established the tragic circumstances of his accidental death in December 1916, aged 31.

Cecil Thomas Packer was born in 1885 in Minty, Wiltshire and grew up in Poole Keynes, Gloucestershire. He enlisted in 1915 in Cirencester and served with the 8thService Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment. He died on 13th December 1916 in Flanders.

he book is a moving account of a humble man who fought for King and Country, and will appeal to all those with an interest in military and social history; local historians (in Gloucestershire/Wiltshire) as well as anyone who wishes to research their own family history.

About the author

Author, Alan Gaunt was born in Salisbury (Wiltshire) and grew up in South Cerney(Gloucestershire). He was educated in Cirencester and, later, in Bushey (Herts). He is a retired Civil Servant. Alan is married (with two grown-up children) and lives in Swindon.

By the same author:

A QUIET AUTHORITY – George Gaunt: A life (2013 Mereo Books).

George Gaunt was a quiet and gentle man who served with honour in the Coldstream Guards. George became a respected publican in a Gloucestershire village, and the entire community mourned his early passing. Thirty years later, his son Alan learned that George had been married before and had two other children. Alan set off on a trail of enquiry to piece together a comprehensive and fascinating account of the father he had lost when he was only 13 years old. This book is the result of Alan’s research and tells the story of his father and how Alan learned about his half-brother.

See also by Alan: https://www.swindoncivicvoice.org.uk/2019/11/ron-spencer-cerneys-hero-policeman/

3D Printing – SED Developments

3D Printing – SED Developments

3D Printing: it’s older than you think

It might surprise you to know that 3D printing has been around since the 1980s. Yet it’s only been in recent years that the technology developed to the point where it allowed printing on a small scale. And with that, the explosion of 3D Printing into the home began. 

See also this post, Additive Manufacturing and how it all began.

What does this mean for you?

It means that we, as SED Developments, can offer you a 3D printing design service that works for you. The only limits on what we can design is that of your imagination. The free reign of creativity allowed by 3D printing has led us to creating, amongst other things:

  • Diddy dog-bone-shaped zip pulls for Hannah Dosanjh wash bags
  • A remote-controlled, model snow plough
  • Personalized key rings
  • Models of the Eiffel Tower 
  • And a badge for a 1930s vintage Vauxhall car – where it wasn’t possible to recreate the badge

    You have only to ask us. But, if you have a 3D printer tucked away at home that you’re not using to best advantage, we can help you produce designs so you can get it working for you.

Cookie cutters and more

Here at SED Developments we love baking. Our baked goods taste fab but aren’t, we’re happy to admit –not the prettiest. That’s why we provide the tools for all you talented creatives out there to do what you’re good at it.

We love design and innovation so there’s no run-of-the-mill, bog standard cookie cutters here. Oh no. Hence, we have a cow face (it’s moos to us too!), a poo emoji, a Christmas jumper and an outline of Africa. To name but some. 

In fact, we’ve got dozens of designs for every occasion. You can see a mere few of them in the gallery below and the rest are in our Ebay shop.

And we’ll create a cookie cutter just for you… send us a silhouette or outline of your desired shape (royalty free of course!) and we’ll print your cookie cutter.

Let’s create with SED Developments 3D Printing

So, if you have a cookie cutter design you want customising, or a creation you want either printing or designing, then let’s have a chat. Contact us on 01793 705380 or email us at jo@sed-developments.co.uk. We’re also on Facebook and Instagram, catch us there.

Last Orders – by John Stooke

Last Orders – by John Stooke

Wow! Yet another Swindon-related book. How fantastic. Hot on the heels of Swindon in 50 Buildings and the Ken White Bio/retrospective – both by me – and France Bevan’s recent book we have Last Orders by John Stooke.

John Stooke’s new book, Last Orders, is launching at Swindon Central Library at 11am on Saturday 19th October. You’ll be able to buy the book in the library shop after the launch.

About Last Orders

Last Orders is the result of four years of meticulous research by John – and hours spent writing in The Blunsdon Arms. Well it would have to be a pub where John worked wouldn’t it?

Supporting Charity

Some of the book’s proceeds are going to support Swindon Women’s Aid. The charity will receive a direct donation of £3 from each £10 selling price.

The book runs to 400 pages, includes 800 images and is an impressive heritage record of Swindon’s best known disappeared alehouses.

Natasha Moyles, spokesman for SWA said, “We at Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service are delighted to have been chosen as the beneficiary of this fascinating project. It is a continuing challenge to raise adequate funds for the essential work we do locally. Initiatives such as John’s enable us to continue to help more victims of domestic abuse within Swindon”

Other Events

John is giving a talk to Swindon Civic Voice on Thursday the 7th November – more information on that here: https://www.swindoncivicvoice.org.uk/2019/10/talk-john-stooke-last-orders/

The Swindon Civic Voice talk aside, John book sales and signings at:

  1. The Designer Outlet Centre: November 16th
  2. The West Swindon Centre: November 23rd
  3. STEAM Museum: November 30/31
  4. The Brunel Centre: December 8th
  5. The Old Town Co-op: December 14th

An ideal gift for the CAMRA and real ale lover methinks. And one that supports such a splendid cause.

Swindon in 50 Buildings goes to school

Swindon in 50 Buildings goes to school

September 2019

Swindon in 50 Buildings goes to school – Well this has been a wonderful development.
A week or two back I received a contact from Sally Clarke, the head teacher at Nythe Primary school. She’d seen my posts on LinkedIn about my most recent book, Swindon in 50 Buildings.

Well, I say most recent. In actual fact another book, about Swindon-born artist and mural man Ken White, hit the bookshelves a few days ago.

As you can see from the image below, I’ve very nearly got an entire catalogue now. Find all of them here: https://swindonian.me/my-publications/

Images of three books - Swindon in 50 buildings, Secret Swindon and Ken White.

But back to Nythe and Swindon in 50 Buildings Going to School

The ever-so-lovely head, Sally Clarke, at Nythe contacted me asking me to meet her. The upshot of that meeting was myself, a barrow-load (well eight) of copies of Swindon in 50 Buildings and my ex-teacher friend, Jo Garton heading over to Nythe school to speak to Sally and her lovely staff about this blog and my books and how they might be used as a teaching resource to teach the children about Swindon and having pride in where they live. And there’s SUCH a lot to be proud of.

I’m so delighted that Sally spotted my book and make contact. It’s great to sell some books of course – I won’t lie to you. But it’s also lovely to see their potential recognised. Thank you Nythe!

Swindon in 50 Buildings goes to school

All three of these books, in their own way, constitute good resources for schools as well as excellent general interest – though I say it myself.

Secret Swindon – here’s a short YouTube film of me attempting to describe Secret Swindon. The book gives a good overview of Swindon’s cultural past and present, tells the story of the medical fund society, Swindon’s spitfire involvement and more.

A bit about Born Again Swindonian

It’s quite a tale about how this blog came into being – one which I won’t go into here. Suffice to say if you’re interested enough, the Born again Swindonian backstory is here. The main thing is that this blog is here. It’s free. And it’s a resource for all of you to use. I’ve been writing it for six years now (I think) and I’ve covered a lot of stuff. The image below gives you some indication of the topics covered.

Born again swindonian blog topics

Where to Buy

All three books are available at:

  1. The library shop in Swindon Central library
  2. Waterstone’s Swindon
  3. At the website of the publisher, Amberley books.
  4. On Amberley’s Amazon store.

On the subject of civic pride

In yet another hat I’m chair of Swindon Civic Voice. In 2018, we led the GWR Railway Village conservation area to victory as England’s conservation area – and more on that here: https://www.swindoncivicvoice.org.uk/2019/06/conservation-area-award-official-presentation/

The GWR railway village is one of many, many things that Swindon and its people should cherish and be proud. Winning that award played a big part in the railway village being awarded a Historic England action Zone.

That was/is a fab achievement yet there’s much to be done. So, I’m sneaking in a plea here for members! Either active or simply willing to pay £6 a year to help support us. Can you? https://www.swindoncivicvoice.org.uk/2019/08/swindon-civic-voice-needs-you/

Thank you.



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