Swindon’s tented market: a response

Swindon’s tented market: a response

15th April 2016


I wrote on here not so long ago about Swindon’s tented market and shopping locally, blah blah blah.

SCV logo screen shot

Join Swindon Civic Voice here: http://www.swindoncivicvoice.org.uk/membership-2/

Swindon Civic Voice – your voice – http://www.swindoncivicvoice.org.uk – carrying out their remit of ‘talking civic sense’ have submitted a document calling for the rejection of the application to demolish the tented market and rebuild with a changed use.

Here’s a link to the full documentre the application for demolition of the tented market

And here’s a couple of extracts:

‘This opportunistic application has come forward ahead of any exploration of the ‘best’ uses and potential configuration of this site, which is identified for ‘regeneration’ in the adopted Local Plan and Masterplan. A Development Brief should be required for this site; the Brief should be written based upon wide consultation with the many stakeholders, including the market traders.

This application has not been widely enough discussed to warrant the demolition and new build for such inappropriate uses on this key historic and ‘doorstep’ site.  It is also inconsistent with the Local Plan and Masterplan policies for ‘regeneration’, and with the policies demanding high quality design in the town centre.’

‘As an organisation which strives to be thoughtful and cautious in the opinions it expresses, Swindon Civic Voice has read all the local social and print media responses to this proposal, and our response is 3-fold:

1)      We note and agree with the widespread dismay at this surprising, opportunistic proposal to alter the site usage without proper study of potential requirements. We note the success of Market Halls elsewhere and the lack of ‘start up’ trading units in the town centre, where high rates and rents and low footfall prevail.

2)      We note and agree with the widespread dismay at the proposal to install restaurants in this location, which is considered unsuitable in location, but also in the context of new and planned restaurants/food courts at nearby Brunel Centre, Regent Circus and the Corn Exchange.  These existing and well-advanced proposals (the latter approved in outline form and approaching final stage of application) should more than satisfy any perceived need for restaurants in the Town Centre for the foreseeable future.

The balance of uses in the town centre must meet the needs of a wide range of shoppers, and not be driven by land values and commercial market only; this is the whole point of planning – that it secures a balance between owners’ wishes and community needs.

3)     We note and agree with the widespread dis-like of the design and the lack of maintenance of the existing Market Hall, and agree that the proposed new building would look no less like a public convenience than the existing building with its ‘toilet-block’ glazing. This proposal does not begin to deliver the ‘high quality’ design Swindon needs, and which town centre policy requires.

We propose the rejection of this application. We also call for an appropriate public consultation seeking future proposals for this site, with respect to both use and design.  

As an appropriate organisation, Swindon Civic Voice offers to collaborate in such a public consultation, using plans and perhaps modelling, within the Market Hall and nearby in Wharf Green in the coming summer, and with the cooperation of the Market Traders. ‘

Join Swindon Civic Voice here: http://www.swindoncivicvoice.org.uk/membership-2/


Business English & other quicklearn courses

Business English & other quicklearn courses

April 2016

Business English and other business-related Courses from quicklearn


Hello listeners

Let me introduce you to Charlotte Mannion, Quicklearn and courses in business English – among other things.

quick learn logo

Quick learn offers what it calls ‘just in time’ learning enabling you to: ‘learn the skills you need at a time to suit you and improve your career opportunities.’ 

And why wouldn’t you want that?

Confession time: I have in place an affiliate arrangement with Quicklearn.

What that means is this: if you purchase any of the Quicklearn ‘learning’ via me I get a little package of fairy dust and possibly some glittery shavings from a unicorn’s horn. Which will be nice.

So if you’re in the market for some business English or related training and you’d like to help me get my fairy dust all you have to do is click through to the Quicklearn site via the banner to be seen on the footer of my home page.

The banner looks like this: 

quick learn useful guides banner

A bit about Quicklearn’s learning beliefs:

All learning needs to be fun………

After all time flies when you are having fun. Studies have found that people who take part in ‘silly games’ think more creatively and develop more innovative solutions to problems. A Cornell University study found people who had watched a funny film increased their creative flexibility and were better at coming up with creative solutions to problems than those who had not watched the film.

Quicklearn is dedicated to skills learning – practical, just in time learning delivered in fun and happy environment.  Quicklearn learning will help you to improve  your job prospects; develop your skills within your chosen role; encourage your promotion;  improve your writing skills; give you confidence to take on new roles.

To find out more – just follow the banner on the footer of this blog’s home page.

Thank you!


Swindon business blogs

Swindon business blogs

1st April 2016


Doing what it says on the tin – a shout-out for some nice business blogs that I know rather well. In no particular order (well mine aside. 😉 ) I give you:

wood cubes spelling blog

  1. AA Editorial Services – me! http://www.aaedits.co.uk/blog/

Why read? For some fun and interesting linguistic stuff amongst other things.

And of course, if you need some help with business blogging or indeed writing of any kind then I can help with that! If you can’t write, are too busy too write or simply don’t want to write – I can take that pain away. http://www.aaedits.co.uk

2) 4 Points leisure. No direct link to the blog but you’ll find it on the home page:  https://www.4pointsleisure.co.uk/joomla30/

Why read? For all sorts of camping, glamping and festival stuff. No. Me neither. #I’drathereatmyownfeet

3) The Fab Gift Boutiquehttps://www.thefabgiftboutique.com/blog/

Why read? All sorts of occasion, gifts and cards and related history. Amongst other stuff. 

4) Pink& Green: https://www.pinkandgreenskincare.co.uk/blog/

Why read? For some really rather interesting skin and skin care related stuff.

5) Catherine Jay Jewellery: http://www.catherinejay.co.uk/blog

Why read? Well can you resist anything bling related?

6) Little Miss Cakemakerhttp://www.littlemisscakemaker.com/blog

Why read? It’s cake. What else is there to say?

7) Insight Sales and Business Mentoringhttp://insightsbm.com/blog/

Why read? Entertaining yet useful insights (see what I did there?) into selling. From the Prince of Sales himself – Rob Moody.


Spring Fun day at the tented market – Saturday 2nd April

Spring Fun day at the tented market – Saturday 2nd April

21st March 2016

Hello listeners. Following on from my recent post on the subject of shopping locally and the tented market traders – if you missed it you can read it here what we have here is a quick shout out about a family fun day on: Saturday the 2nd April.


19 Mar 2016 — We are inviting all our supporters as well as people who have never visited the Tented Market to join us on Saturday 2nd April. We will be hosting over 30 shops, bouncy castle, face painting, food tasting, activities and music cafe to promote what the Tented Market could be like if it was given a chance to continue by rejecting the Planning Application to demolish the Tented Market and replace it with 4 restaurants and a cafe. Hope to see you all there!”

Swindon tented market fun day

Bringing the Big Top to Eastcott: sponsorship needed

Bringing the Big Top to Eastcott: sponsorship needed

Eastcott community organisation logo19th March 2016


Hello dear listeners. In case you somehow haven’t noticed – and if you’re as chaotic as me it’s entirely forgivable – this year marks the 175th anniversary of Swindon’s birth as a railway town. And in celebration of that a wide array of most marvellous ‘stuff’ is happening throughout the year.

As part of this fabness Eastcott Community organisation hopes to bring the thrills and spills of a Victorian-themed circus to Eastcott, Swindon, on Sunday 5th June 2016 with the help of Faldings Fandango: https://www.facebook.com/faldingsfandangos/?fref=ts

And to bring that dream to life Eastcott Community group are seeking financial contributions from Swindon’s business community. This doesn’t need to be a huge amount. They already have some funds so are trying to get money to top that up. They aren’t talking about hundreds of pounds but about tens of pounds. 

The group doesn’t expect something for nothing. Read more about the actual event and what’s in it for you in this sponsorship proposal:  http://www.aaedits.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Eastcott170116.pdf

Any amount at all you might be able to spare would be welcomed and hugely appreciated.

For any further information contact: Caroline Davies-Khan/Anna Smart

Eastcott Community Organisation:  eastcottcommunity@yahoo.co.uk




I wrote a blog and I liked it

I wrote a blog and I liked it

18th March 2016

This post can also be seen on my AA Editorial Services business blog: My first foray into public speaking.  There’s more photos on that post. I’ve only included a couple on here.


signage on a notice board

The story of how I made my first venture into public speaking is quite a long one. So if you’re sitting comfortably – then I’ll begin:

I set up my AA Editorial Services business late in 2014. So the start of 2015 saw me still on the nursery slopes of being a small-business owner. Unfortunately that period also saw me hit with a series of health and domestic issues that sent me flying off-piste in spectacular fashion. By the time I’d got myself regrouped 2015 was half over.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, as a result of all those difficulties, I’d rather lost my business focus. So, with the last quarter of the year approaching, I took the decision to employ the services of a business mentor: Rob Moody of Insight Sales & Business Mentoring. I’d known Rob for nigh on two years at this point so felt confident about investing money in his services.

The AA Editorial Services Strategic Plan or ‘why’

Already well-known in Swindon for my Born again Swindonian blog, Rob came up with a number of ideas to help me build on that personal profile and to join up the dots between that and my business persona.

Rob is a great ideas person – and that was fabulous for me because I’m not. You could say that I’m more of a finisher than a problem solver.

Over the course of several meetings Rob came up with a whole host of ideas and then we worked out which ones I’d put into practice first. And one of these ideas was public speaking – giving a talk.  Being far more in touch with popular culture than I am Rob came up with what I thought was a cracking talk title: ‘I wrote a blog and I liked it’ –with the not so snappy subheading ‘What I learned about Swindon by blogging about it, how that blogging built me a public profile and how blogging could do the same for you too.’ 

Now I won’t lie – it was with trepidation that I agreed to put public speaking into my strategy. But I could see that, if absolutely nothing else, it would be good personal development. So, along with writing articles, developing my website and assorted other tactics and sales tips, we agreed I’d give a talk.

The how and the where

So having agreed that there was a valid ‘why do this’ to the talk the next things to consider were writing the thing and finding and audience.

The latter of those – the ‘where’ was straightforward. I’ve recently become involved with Swindon Civic Voice and they very kindly agreed to give me a forum at one of their monthly public meetings – they regularly have speakers at these events. And I thank them for their support and co-operation.

Now to the ‘how’. Rob mentored me every step of the way with this – even to attending the talk to give me moral support and to take some photographs. Which was wonderful – plus, if I really dried up, he could do the talk himself!

Clearly I wrote the talk myself but not after input from Rob about how to structure the talk, at what points to bring it back to the audience and so on. We revised it together until we’d decided we’d got a good talk and then it was down to me to practice it. Gulp.

He also gave me tons of useful pointers about the delivery of the talk – not just the content itself.

So how did it go?

Twenty or more people turned out and paid to listen to me – and they weren’t even all people that I knew.

Once I got going with it – I actually quite enjoyed it. It helped that I had a friendly audience and knowing that nothing important was hinging on it.

So I’m very glad I did it. More people now are aware of my business persona but more importantly doing it has boosted my confidence no end.

And at risk of sounding like the Rob Moody Fan Club – I really couldn’t have done it and felt so comfortable about it without his help.  https://www.facebook.com/Insight-Sales-Business-Mentoring-368100366717829/?fref=ts

While on the subject of thanking people I must mention fellow Women Mean Biz member Julie Nicholls of Body-Mind Coaching who was also a huge help with her EMDR: http://body-mind-coaching.co.uk/?s=emdr