Sunday, November 25, 2012

Swindon Society Old Town Walk

Members of the Swindon Society are now on their summer break, so I thought it was time to publish a couple of blogposts about the work they get up to. Scroll down to see what's on when the group reconvenes in September.

This week saw members of the Swindon Society take to the streets as the local history enthusiasts joined in with Lethbridge Primary School's Victorian project.

The eight and nine year olds had already seen a slideshow of Old Swindon and learned what it was like to be a Victorian schoolchild - now it was time to walk in the footsteps of their 19th century counterparts.

The 140 children took part in four guided walks across two wet and windy days at the beginning of the week.

First stop was at the site of the Old Swindon railway station, now a modern industrial estate.  Andy shows the children a photo of the former station platform -

 and Bob points out the railway tunnel.

The Belmont Brewery - now a nightclub.  The children hadn't been there, and neither had Andy - yet!

Outside the Co-op the children look at a photograph of the thatched cottages in Newport Street.

The children hear about the devastating 2003 fire that gutted the Corn Exchange building, the year in which some of them were born.

Then it's a short walk to Lawn Woods

where the children learn the derivation of the street name The Planks.

The children learn about the Goddard family and the house called the Lawn, demolished in 1952

and follow the footings of the building, recently revealed by Swindon Borough Council groundsmen.

 Back on the High Street

after a now and then view of the old bank.

At the King's Arms Andy explains the importance of looking up at buildings to discover unchanged features in the brickwork.  The children had some interesting ideas on what the Cyclist Touring Club emblem might signify.

Two cyclists join in the fun.

Back in the classroom and there were still more questions from the enthusiastic time travellers.

The Swindon Society members were delighted with this new venture, which had been a great success.  For more information about the society visit the website on

You might also like to read

Swindon Society Celebrates 

Albert Beaney's Photographs

A Soldier's Life in the Trenches

1 comment: