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
I’m always looking for new and interesting angles to share when out and about in Swindon.
The GWR Park, in the centre of Swindon’s GWR Railway Village conservation area began life in 1844 as a cricket ground. In that year, the GWR bought land from Lt.Col.Vilett, a local landowner. That land, to the west of the new Railway Village, between Faringdon Road and St Mark’s Church became first a cricket ground and later the GWR Park – known also to some as The Plantation or Victoria Park.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
From guns to buns
Or as suggested on social media:
From riot to quiet
From thugs to mugs
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.
Some of what follows is repeated from the old post – but not all so take a look.
The best way to see a town is on foot. Indeed it’s astonishing what you see and a learn about a place if you get of the car. So do exactly that and try some of these things out.
The West Swindon Sculpture trail: on the face of it looking at some dilapidated sculptures doesn’t sound much of a family activity.
Yet, following the West Sculpture trail takes you across acres of West Swindon’s green spaces. It traverses play parks and outdoor gyms. It’s a 5-mile walk that can be cycled and is push chair friendly.
4. For further urban exploration walk around the town in search of the blue plaques in Swindon. Find a map of them all by following the link to my post about them.
5. Try the Explorer’s Guide to New Swindon – get the map produced by Swindon Civic Voice (£2 from the central library) and explore ‘New Swindon.’
Parks and Gardens
Pack up a picnic and visit one of Swindon’s parks and open spaces. The above two are perfect for a picnic. As too are the following parks. These are only a few of astonishing number of parks, green spaces, walks and cycle paths that Swindon offers. Google is your friend here.
Free to enter, this museum and its gardens are simply a delight. The museum has its own halt for the Coate Water railway.
In the summer there’s cream teas in the garden, sometimes with music of some sort, and they put on all sorts of children’s activities. Visit their website (link in heading above) to find out what’s going on.
Find out about this particular writer’s life in the museum. You can also see locations where he lived and worked and went to school by following the Richard Jefferies Old Town Trail – see above under urban exploration.
Transport company’s drive to raise charity funds arrives at fun day
Akcess fun day August 19th at Coate Water
Akcess Medical NEPTS transport
They say you wait for one bus then three come along – well that’s just what’s going to happen when the team at Swindon-based transport company Akcess lay on a bumper fundraising fun day.
As part of the festivities at the event, which takes place at Coate Water on August 19, visitors will be asked to guess the combined weight of three vehicles. The vehicles are from Akcess CIC, a not-for-profit community transport company, and its sister company Akcess Medical, which operates hospital transport.
As well as guess-the-weight, there will be everything from fun fair rides to tombolas and sweet stalls, displays, and old-fashioned races like egg-and-spoon. There will also be a raffle, with local business people generously donating prizes ranging from Swindon Town tickets and swimming lessons, to chocolates and Bluetooth speakers.
Organising the fun day is Akcess Medical’s crew manager, Tracey Mason.
“Originally, we were going to run a fun day for staff, as we employ about 200 people across the businesses, but then we decided to open it up to everybody who wants to come along and to help charity at the same time,” she said.
“We picked Uplands as we provide transport for a lot of the children to get to and from school, and for school trips, and they are really wonderful. Wiltshire Air Ambulance fits with Akcess Medical, although our ambulances are firmly on the ground!”
Tracey is still looking for people who want to run stalls or displays at the fun day. To get in touch or for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01793 855550.