Sharing Swindon’s Story

Sharing Swindon’s Story

Over the past year, in a project coordinated by the Mechanics’ Institution Trust, thirty-five young Swindonians learnt lots of amazing things about our town. What they learned is on this Sharing Swindon’s Story website.

sharing swindon's story
The project participants outside Central Community Centre – once the Medical Fund Society Hospital

NB: Both Secret Secret Swindon and Swindon in 50 Buildings between them tell of the Medical Fund Society, the Mechanics’ Institution, the GWR Railway Village and central community centre.

Funding partners

The organisations that enabled this project to take place are:

The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon.

Some of what the youngsters did

On the Sharing Swindon’s Story website here, you can find out more about what they got up to.

‘Starting in Summer 2018, 35 young people based at Central Community Centre in Swindon’s historic and award-winning Railway Village began a project to create artworks inspired by the heritage around them and share these with the local community.

‘Sharing Swindon’s Story’ focused on the community and cultural heritage of our town, linked to the first generations of ‘New Swindonians’ and the Mechanics’ Institution.’

A group of 11-16 year olds from the local youth club designed and led the project.

sharing swindons story

See this YouTube film to hear the youngsters talking about their activities:

Read the rest of the story and see loads of photographs on the website here:

Their social media




Artwork on the hoardings around the Mechanics’ Institute

I think I’ve got them in the right order!

The Greek Olive Refreshed

The Greek Olive Refreshed

12th July 2019

The Greek Olive Refreshed

I’ve got a very soft spot for the Greek Olive restaurant on Faringdon Road – right across from the GWR Park.

I struggle to believe that four years have passed since I first wrote about the place on the blog here. Swindon’s Greek Olive is a popular place and with good reason. The people are lovely, the food is consistent and the portions are large. And who doesn’t like a large portion?! 😉 It’s a charming taste of Greece in the heart of Swindon.

I was about to say it’s an unchanging taste of Greece but that’s not true now, hence this post. For the Greek Olive has had a freshen up – starting with the outside. Here it is looking lovely and fresh.

Swindon Greek Olive refreshed

So, a few days ago, perambulating into town as is my want, and approaching the Greek Olive I started to feel flotbot* and in need of food.

*As far as I know I got this term from the BBC TV Series All Creatures Great and Small. In this series one of the characters had a dog with a propensity for flotbot – meaning, I think, constipated. But I use it to mean going hypoglyceamic and in need of food. But I digress.

Seeing the door open I decided to dive in and ask for a plate of Greek meze to keep me going. Sorry for the lack of  photos of said meze. Delicious as always – I demolished it in a flash! But, while there, I was delighted to discover that, as well as piffing up the frontage of the restaurant, they’d done a make-over on the tatty old courtyard. As you’ll see from the few photos below it’s now a charming, sunny slice of Greek courtyard atmosphere. It’s quite a transformation for sure. And a lovely spot for some meze washed down with a Mythos or a glass of retsina. 

The Greek Olive in Swindon on Facebook

Contact the Greek Olive

contact details for the Greek Olive





Short Story Writing Competition

Short Story Writing Competition

22 December 2017


Short Story Writing Competition

The Squat Pen Rests

short story writing competition

Calling all wordsmiths! In particular short story writers. Here’s a short story writing competition begging you to dig out your inkwells and quills.

A certain Stephen Tuffin, creative writing tutor and writer and very funny bloke is organising a short story writing competition and performance of said stories.

”We are looking for six (or more) fabulous writer/performers to come along to our very first live reading event at ‘The Place’ in the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon.’

Here’s what you need to know in a nutshell. Full information here:

WhenLive event 7:30 till late. Friday 26th January 2018

Where: ‘The Place – upstairs at the Wyvern Theatre.

How to enter: Write between 1500-2000 words on the subject of your choice. Or you can use the prompt ‘new beginnings’  Then send your stories to Stephen for the chance to be selected to read your story on stage and maybe, just maybe, be crowned the very first ever Squat Pen Rests Writing Competition Champion of the World.

The serious stuff:

All stories will be read by the competition judge (or ‘me’ as I am otherwise known) who will then select six (or more) stories to go forward into the final.

Before entering, please ensure you are available to come along and read on Friday 26th January 2018.

Each of the entrants will receive free entry (of course), plus one complimentary ticket.

Closing date: 19th January 2018. Successful entrants will be notified no later than 22nd January.

To book tickets to be there follow this link to the Wyvern Theatre website:

PS: Should you not be in possession of a squat pen I know man, Simon Webb, who makes them!



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