Saturday, December 10, 2011

Looking down on the Drove Road area in the 1950s

The County Ground, home to Swindon Town FC since 1896, takes pride of place in this photograph of Swindon 50 years ago.

The 1958/59 season saw Swindon Town playing in the new Division Three. Bob Edward was top scorer with nine goals to his credit that season and a total of 69 during his time at the County Ground. This was the season manager Bert Head recruited Ernie Hunt, the club's youngest signing at 16 years and 182 days old, to what later became known as Bert's Babes.

With an average home crowd of over 11,300 sadly Swindon Town finished the season in a disappointing 15th position, although well clear of the relegation zone.

Development along Shrivenham Road had begun in the 1920s with building to the east of Drove Road starting in the 1930s. Drove Road was an ancient route along which drovers brought their animals to market at the old town on the hill. The modern routes of Queens Drive and Drakes Way have yet to make an appearance.

A predecessor of the Magic Roundabout was built close to the site of the former Swindon Wharf and the Drove Road Bridge that crossed the Wilts and Berks Canal. This traffic control complex of one large roundabout contained by five smaller ones was built in 1972 to the designs of Frank Blackmore, traffic engineer and inventor of the mini roundabout.

The Magic Roundabout pictured under construction is courtesy of the Swindon Advertiser and available to view on

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