Monday, September 2, 2013

A week in which I discover the joys of living in Toothill, Rodbourne and Gorse Hill.

This week began with an endurance test, included a significant birthday, some excellent cemetery news and ended with an 10th anniversary and a fete.

Across the Bank Holiday weekend the Swindon Heritage team was out pounding the streets, delivering copies of the magazine. I covered the length and breadth of West Swindon while my two colleagues delivered the rest! I got to see areas of Toothill I didn't know existed, and how beautiful it is too, with stunning views across to Wroughton.

By the end of the week the job was done, or so we thought, until we discovered a glitch in our less-than-foolpoof system. Too big a job for pedal power, Graham left his trusty cycle behind and drove more than 70 miles, delivering to subscribers who had dropped off the list.

But by now subscribers should be satisfied, stockists stocked and with just Lydiard House to deliver to tomorrow, the Autumn edition of Swindon Heritage is out there. Enjoy!

Followers of events at Radnor Street Cemetery will know that we have had a difficult few months. An extremely successful 2011 with guided cemetery walks and local history exhibitions in the chapel was followed by months of nail chewing, heavy sighs and council doings (or should that be not-doings). I'm now delighted to report that with the support of Swindon Borough Council CEO Gavin Jones and Swindon South MP Robert Buckland, events are all set to resume at the historically significant Swindon cemetery.

There will be no more of this ...



as the Community Payback Team get to grips with tidying up the cemetery and more of these ...



as we resume our popular walks.

There will even be events like this again ...



especially as we prepare for the Great War centenary commemorations.

On Saturday we joined the good folk of Rodbourne Cheney Community History Group to celebrate their 10th anniversary at Even Swindon Community Centre. There were visitors aplenty to mull over the photographs, reminisce with neighbours and catch up with old friends who had moved away. With a number of Rodbourne residents already subscribers to Swindon Heritage we didn't expect to sell so many magazines. Glen, Brenda and Ann kept the cups of tea coming and the cakes were jolly good as well.

Then on Sunday we did it all over again, this time at the annual Southbrook Inn fete. With a Bouncy Castle, facepainting and numerous other activities in the pub grounds, our friends Diane Everett and Bob Townsend had organised a local history extravaganza in the function room at the back of the pub. Gorse Hill residents told us how much they liked living on their patch, a message we hear from every area of Swindon we visit, which must mean Swindon is a pretty alright place to live - despite what the comedians might say.


Even Swindon Community Centre - built on the site of the former Jennings Street School








Southbrook Inn annual fete



And in the function room family historians take a trip down memory lane.






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