Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Looking down on Old Town in the 1950s

This 1950s aerial view of Swindon takes a broad sweep of Old Town from the junction at Okus Road and Kingshill, along Bath Road and Wood Street to the Goddard Arms Hotel at the top of the photograph.

Okus Road takes its name from Okus Farm, which stood at the western end of Swindon Hill and was owned by the Goddard family from the mid 17th century.  The thatched Okus Barn, dating from the same time, survived into the 20th century but was demolished in 1975.

Old Swindon Local Board records include a covenant for laying out new streets and sewers at Okus dated 1890 with building dating from around the turn of the 19th century.

Kingshill House, former home of the Bowly family, was bought by the Borough and converted into a maternity hospital in the early 1930s.  This aerial view shows additional buildings in the grounds and also in front of neighbouring Victoria hospital.

A collection of Nissan hut type structures stand on the site of the present day Savernake Street Social Hall while St Saviour's Church in Ashford Road, built by railway men in 1889, appears to be lacking a couple of neighbours.

The Congregational Church built in 1906 on the corner of Bath Road and Victoria Road is missing from this photograph.  Demolished in 1949 the site was later used as a car park before road widening took place in the 1960s, which must date this photograph to the mid 1950s.  The Swindon Advertiser building can be viewed through a gap in Victoria Road.

St Saviour's then and now

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