Swindon Stitch and Bitch Salute the RAF with a Knitted Spitfire

Swindon Stitch and Bitch Salute the RAF with a Knitted Spitfire

Swindon Stitch and Bitch

Saluting the RAF with a Knitted Spitfire

Swindon Stitch and Bitch Salute the RAF with a Knitted Spitfire

knitted spitfire

Knitted Spitfire

Swindon Stitch and Bitch have been working away on a knitted Spitfire display to celebrate and commemorate the RAF Centenary and for the British Legion Poppy appeal.

 

The display was installed today at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in Old Town, between the reception desk and the gallery entrance. The display itself is a spitfire with a plume of poppies in the jet stream that swirls over the corridor and down the wall, as if the spitfire has swooped by. Tracey Major from Swindon Stitch and Bitch said that the group wanted to create something spectacular for the RAF Centenary, “we always commemorate remembrance Sunday with a poppy display, and with it being 100 years of the RAF we wanted to knit their most iconic aircraft, and have the poppies all tumbling out of the back in a wave to create a waterfall effect.”

The spitfire itself was knitted by one lady, Eileen Ashmore who said, “once I’d figured out how I was going to make it came together alright; and I’m really pleased with how it looks.”

The spitfire is knitted, and the stuffing and structure is achieved with balsa wood and bubble wrap. Eileen said, “the bubble wrap was great when you were shaping the aircraft, because if it looked a bit big, you just had to pop a few of the bubbles.”

The jetstream out the back of the plane is made with a length of silver chiffon. Over 400 poppies were used to decorate the fabric. Tracey Major explained that the members of the group had helped in the making of the poppies for the museum display, and for two other poppy displays that the group have in the pipeline.

The display looks amazing and will be hanging around until the end of the month, so if you are in Old Town, do a quick flyby.

https://swindonstitchandbitch.blogspot.com/

See also the Big Knit at Orbital 

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Event: Bringing Science to Swindon

Event: Bringing Science to Swindon

Event : Bringing Science to Swindon

Reaching for the Sun

Bringing Science to Swindon

Reaching for the Sun

When: Tuesday 23rd October 2018 Starting at: 7:00 pm (all welcome)

Where: Venue: Lecture Theatre, New College Swindon, SN3 1AH

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (the other STFC) based here in Swindon funds some of the most amazing and inspirational science and technology in the world. Starting in October 2018 we will run a series of public events to highlight the science realised here in Swindon.

science and technologies facilities council - bringing science to swindon

The first talk by eminent solar physicist Dr Helen Mason OBE from the University of Cambridge will bring the Sun to Swindon…

Dr Helen Mason

Dr Helen Mason

Reaching for the Sun

The Sun, our star, is in a quiet phase of its eleven activity cycle, but we can expect some spectacular action in a few years time. Several solar space observatories have been watching the Sun over the past couple of decades:

SoHO, Stereo, Hinode and the Solar Dynamics Observatory. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has just been launched, August 2018, and ESA’s Solar Orbiter will be launched in 2020. These satellites will travel closer to the Sun than ever before.

This talk will review what we have learnt about our dynamic Sun, in particular what we know (and don’t yet know!) about sunspots, solar active regions and flares (huge explosions), and how the Sun affects the Earth’s environment (space weather).’

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Sing Something Swindon: a round up of some of Swindon’s choirs

Sing Something Swindon: a round up of some of Swindon’s choirs

Sing Something Swindon: a round up of some of Swindon's choirs

A lovely guest blog post focusing on Swindon’s singing opportunities

Thanks to Jo Garton for this lovely guest blog post focusing on Swindon’s singing opportunities. Which are many and various. This is your note – sing it! Swindon’s lungs are bursting with singing opportunities.

Sing Something Swindon

The Big Sing Thing - Swindon's choirs

The Big Sing Thing 

Swindon is a city of choirs. Well – ok, it’s a town, but it feels like a city to many of us.

There have been many health and psychology studies which show that singing is good for your health. this easy form of self-expression helps maintain sound (pun intended) mental health. Swindon is the place to be if you want to sing, because thousands of people sing here every week and not just in the shower!

Of course, we have a history of singing here; the Mechanics Institute had a resident opera company, which famously made Swindon theplace to be in the UK if you fancied a bit of Russian opera! If you want to know more about that then I suggest you read Secret Swindon by Angela Atkinson, in which she tells more about that.

Mlada:programme of Swindon Musical Society

Mlada:programme of Swindon Musical Society

Nowadays we have highbrow, lowbrow and everything in between.

Probably Swindon’s longest established choir is the Swindon Male Voice Choir, founded in 1919. They meet weekly in Gorse Hill and have about fifty members. Over the years they have toured internationally and won many competitions and Eisteddfods.

The Swindon Choral Society is another long-established choir. It has roots right back to the 1920s. They also tour internationally with a repertoire that includes Requiems of Brahms and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius. The choral society has 110 singers and they meet in Freshbrook.

The indomitable Sheila Harrod started the well-known Kentwood Choir in 1964. 

 Like many of the choirs in Swindon they have raised a lot of money for charity – over the fifty-three years of their existence over £1 million. Their president is the internationally renown jazz singer Dame Cleo Laine. Their thirty-five women members have sung on national television and abroad.

Newer kids on the blog are The Magnificent AK47s formed in 2008They meet in Ashton Keynes, but many of their members are from Swindon, some are not even members of the Spooner family! They have enjoyed success at the Derry International Choral Festival and the Cork International Festival. The AK47s are an all male choir who, for reasons not entirely clear, sing quite a lot about beards!

Swindon Community Choir started in 2000 as the Scratch Choir but over the years have changed their name. They favour a ‘natural voice technique’ which believes that singing is everyone’s birthright. They meet in the Central Community Centre in the railway village (what was the medical fund society hospital) on a Monday evening. This is a mixed choir, which welcomes new members without an audition. They have a wide ranging taste, singing folk, pop and international songs.

Running for twenty-five years and also raising money for good causes is the Thamesdown Ladies choir. The choir has around fifty members and a wide-ranging repertoire.

Finally, the BigSingThing has been running for seven years and meets in West Swindon on a Monday evening. Roughly ninety men and women sing each week. They perform concerts locally and have raised over £10,000 for charity. BigSing claims to be Swindon’s friendliest choir and sings  pop songs old and new as well as some songs from musicals.

If you want to sing in Swindon there is plenty of choice!

 Links:

Swindon Male Voice Choir: https://www.swindonmalevoicechoir.co.uk

Swindon Choral Society: http://swindonchoral.org.uk/scs/main.php

The Kentwood Choir: http://www.kentwoodshowchoir.org

The Magnificent AK47s: http://www.themagnificentak47.com

Swindon Community Choir: http://www.swindon.singtastic.co.uk

Thamesdown Ladies Choir: http://www.thamesdownladieschoir.co.uk

The Big Sing Thing: https://www.bigsingthing.org.uk

 

 

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I’m always looking for new and interesting angles to share when out and about in Swindon.

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Event: The Big Knit at the Orbital

Event: The Big Knit at the Orbital

Event: The Big Knit at the Orbital

The Big Knit at the Orbital is on Saturday 27th of October from 2pm till 4.30pm
Paula Nunnery set up the Big Knit in Swindon just over two years ago. It’s now an established group meeting every six months or so. True story – no spinning yarns on this blog!

The group meet up to knit or crochet eight inch squares. They then sew them together to make blankets for the homeless. Though keeping the homeless warm isn’t the only thing this craftwork achieves. The knitting brings people together, bonds the community and boosts wellbeing. So it’s as good for the crafters as it is for the blanket recipients.

Tracey Major coordinates the Big Knit at the Orbital. She saw the Big Knit at Lydiard park in the summer of 2018 and  found inspiration in the project.  She knew that she wanted to be involved and to help sew the blankets together and to provide an opportunity to bring the group together more regularly.

Said Tracey: ‘I love working with yarn and I love meeting new people with a similar passion for arts and crafts. I do love a charity project and the homeless are so deserving, the ladies who have tirelessly been making over 165 blankets for the homeless are an inspiration and have such generous hearts, I’m thrilled to be part of their group and to continue their work.’

Tracey has found a new location for the group to meet at the Orbital Customer Service Hub at the Orbital shopping park. It’s just opposite the library.

Tracey explained ‘It’s a lovely new building, and nice and airy and light. It’s perfect for crafting in and has plenty of space for all the ladies to meet and come together. There’s chairs, tables and two sofas, so we shall be very comfortable and there’s a tea urn, so we can provide refreshments.’

But the Big Knit at the Orbital isn’t a closed group. They would love for more knitters and crocheters to come forward to pool their skills and to enjoy the vibe of the group.

The first ever Big Knit at the Orbital will take place on the Saturday 27th of October from 2pm till 4.30pm. There’s another Wednesday afternoon event in the pipeline for November, but yet to be confirmed.

If you would like to go along and join the group or simply have a look and see what it’s all about, the group will welcome you warmly.

They can provide yarn but it would be helpful if you could bring knitting needles or a crochet hook.

 

Latest Swindon Ramblings

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Beat the Street

Beat the Street

September 2018

Beat the Street

Beat the street image

I love a bit of urban exploration around Swindon me – just some of which is covered in posts in this category: https://swindonian.me/category/walks-and-cycle-paths/

So this Beat the Street Swindon challenge sounds like fantastic family fun. Read more about it all below.

Swindon is set to be transformed into a giant game this autumn as thousands of residents compete to see if their school, community or business can walk, run or cycle the furthest.

Beat the Street Swindon

Running from 12 September to 24 October, Beat the Street is a free, fun challenge where people are rewarded with points and prizes for exploring their town on foot or bicycle.

More than 160 special sensors called ‘Beat Boxes’ will appear across Swindon. Players tap the Beat Boxes with cards and fobs to track their journey and earn points for themselves and their team – the more Beat Boxes people swipe the more points they earn.

Schools and community groups across Swindon will be competing against each other to see if they can travel the furthest, climb the leaderboards and win hundreds of pounds worth of sport and fitness equipment.

Families are encouraged to play for their local school. While the wider community can create their own teams by emailingteam.swindon@beatthestreet.me.

Beat the Street is being funded in Swindon by Sport England and Swindon Borough Council.

Bring your community together to explore your area by walking, cycling or running.

Visit their website at: www.beatthestreet.me/swindon  

And find Beat the Street on Facebook.

Twitter: @BTSSwindon

To get involved:

Beat the Street runs from Wednesday 12 September 2018 – Wednesday 24 October 2018 and anyone living, working or going to a school in Swindon is eligible to take part.

Pick up a card near you. Selected supermarkets, libraries and leisure centres will start distributing cards from 6 September. 

Beat the Street is being delivered by Intelligent Health and is funded by The National Lottery through Sport England, and Swindon Borough Council.

Want to find out more or set up a team? Email team.swindon@beatthestreet.me

 

Baker’s Community Café

Baker’s Community Café

29th August 2018

The Baker’s Community Café

It’s been sometime in the coming – you know how it is with building works – it always takes longer and costs more than you think. But at last it’s open and getting underway and, best thing of all, it’s a lovely bit of good news for Swindon’s heritage and the railway village conservation area.

What am I talking about listeners? The Baker’s Community café of course.

the bakers arms community cafe

From guns to buns 

Or as suggested on social media:

From riot to quiet

From thugs to mugs 

Moving on!!

I’m pretty ignorant of the history of this ex railway village pub, but it seems it had a reputation for being ‘a bit rough’ – to understate the case. As this article in the Swindon Advertiser explains:

‘The Bakers Arms will reopen as a community café this week after a makeover that saw builders rip out moulding bar and restore historic fireplaces in the 150-year-old pub.

It will prove a major reversal of fortune for the Emlyn Square pub, which was once a source of anti-social behaviour and ire for residents.

In December 2011, police raided the Bakers Arms and found a shotgun and a large amount of what officers suspected was cocaine. The pub was closed three months later after a review by the council’s licensing panel. .. ‘

Huge congrats to everyone at the Mechanics’ Institute Trust – I’m sure it will be great asset to the central area and to Swindon as a whole. Goodness knows Swindon’s heritage areas need some uplift. So this is super welcome.

Find them on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bakerscafe.swindon/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BakersCafe_SN1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bakerscafe.swindon/