Swindon


Swindon

infobox UK place
country = England
static_

static_image_caption =
official_name = Swindon
population = 155,432
unitary_england = Swindon
lieutenancy_england = Wiltshire
region = South West England
constituency_westminster = North Swindon
constituency_westminster1= South Swindon
post_town = SWINDON
postcode_district = SN1-6, SN25, SN26
postcode_area = SN
dial_code = 01793
os_grid_reference = SU152842
london_distance = 81mi
latitude = 51.558333
longitude = -1.7811111

Swindon (Audio|en-uk-Swindon.ogg|pronunciation) is a large town, in the ceremonial county of Wiltshire in the South West of England, midway between Bristol (64 km / 40 miles west) and Reading (64 km / 40 miles east). London is 130 km / 81 miles east. It is on the rail line between London and Bristol, and has one railway station. It is in the borough of Swindon, which has been a unitary authority independent of Wiltshire since 1997. A resident of Swindon is known as a Swindonian. Swindon's motto is "Salubritas et Industria" (Health and Industry).

Swindon was named an Expanded Town under the Town Development Act 1952 and this led to a major increase in its population.Cite web|url=http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data_cube_table_page.jsp?data_theme=T_POP&data_cube=N_TPop&u_id=10104178&c_id=10001043&add=N|title=Swindon: Total Population|accessdate=2007-01-09|publisher=A Vision of Britain through time|author=Great Britain Historical GIS Project] In the 2001 census the population of the Swindon urban area was 155,432, while around 184,000 lived in the Borough, which includes the satellite towns of Highworth and Wroughton.

History

Etymology

The original saxon settlement of Swindon sat in a defensible position atop a limestone hill. It is referred to in the Domesday Book as "Suindune", believed to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon words "swine" and "dun" meaning 'pig hill', or possibly 'Sweyn's hill', where Sweyn would be the local landlord.

Industrial Revolution

Swindon was a small market town, mainly for barter trade, until the mid-1800s. This original market area is on top of the hill in central Swindon, now known as Old Town.

The industrial revolution was responsible for an acceleration of Swindon's growth. It started with the construction of the Wilts and Berks Canal in 1810 and the North Wilts canal in 1819. The canals brought trade to the area, and Swindon's population started to grow.

Railway town

In 1840, Isambard Kingdom Brunel chose Swindon as the site for the railway works he planned for the Great Western Railway. Eastwards towards London the line was gently graded, while westwards there was a steep descent towards Bath. Swindon was the junction for the proposed line to Gloucester.

Swindon Junction station opened in 1842 and until 1895 every train stopped for at least 10 minutes to change locomotives. As a result, the station hosted the first recorded railway refreshment rooms. There were three storeys to the station in 1842, with the refreshment rooms on the ground floor, he upper floors housing the station hotel and lounge. That building was demolished in 1972, replaced by an office building with a single-storey modern station under it.

The town's railway works were completed in 1842. The GWR built a small railway 'village' to house some of its workers. People still live in the those houses and several of the buildings that made up the railway works remain, although many are vacant. The Steam Railway Museum now occupies part of the old works. In the village were the GWR Medical Fund Clinic at Park House and its hospital, both on Faringdon Road and 1892's Health Centre in Milton Road – which housed clinics, a pharmacy, laundries, baths, Turkish baths and swimming pools – was almost opposite.

From 1871, GWR workers each week had a small amount deducted from their pay and put into a fund – its doctors could prescribe them or their family members free medicines or send them for medical treatments. In 1878 the fund began providing artificial limbs made by craftsmen from the carriage and wagon works, and nine years later opened its first dental surgery. In his first few months in post the dentist removed more than 2,000 teeth. From the opening in 1892 of the Health Centre, a doctor could also prescribe a hair cut or even a bath. The cradle-to-grave extent of this service was later used as a blueprint for the NHS. [ [http://www.swindonweb.com/guid/herinhs0.htm/ "From Cradle to Grave", SwindonWeb] .Retrieved on [2007-07-23] .] [ [http://www.new-mechanics.com/history/background.htm/ ‘’Background’’ – New Mechanics Institution Preservation Society] . Retrieved on 2007-07-23.]

The Mechanics Institute, formed in 1844, moved into a building, looking not unlike a church although including a covered market, on May 1 1855. The New Swindon Improvement Company, a co-operative, raised the funds for this cathedral to self-improvement, and paid the GWR £40 a year its new home for its commanding site at the heart of the railway village. It was a ground-breaking organisation that transformed the railway's workforce into some of the country's best-educated manual workers. [ [http://www.new-mechanics.com/history/1850.htm/ "1850" – New Mechanics Institution Preservation Trust, Swindon] . Retrieved on 2007-07-23.] Some claim that GWR Chief Engineer Daniel Gooch had got the railway to fund the Institute [ [http://swindonweb.com/guid/peopgooc0.htm/ Daniel Gooch - "The Father of Swindon Works", SwindonWeb] . Retrieved on 2007-07-23.]

It offered the aspiring poor the UK's first lending library, [ [http://www.new-mechanics.com/history/background.htm/ "Background" – New Mechanics Institution Preservation Trust, Swindon] .Retrieved on 2007-07-23.] and a range of improving lectures, access to a theatre and worthy pastimes from ambulance classes to xylophone lessons. A former Institute secretary formed the New Swindon Co-operative Society in 1853, which, after a schism in the society's membership, spawned the New Swindon Industrial Society that ran a retail business from a stall in the market at the Institute. The Institute also nurtured pioneering trades unionists and encouraged local democracy. [ [http://www.new-mechanics.com/ "This is Our Heritage" - 1996 lecture by Swindon labour movement historian Trevor Cockbill] . Retrieved on 2007-07-23.]

When tuberculosis hit the new town, the Mechanics’ Institute helped the industrial pioneers of north Wiltshire agree that the railway’s former employees should continue to receive medical attention from the doctors of GWR Medical Society Fund, which the Institute had played a role in establishing and funding. [ [http://www.new-mechanics.com/history/background.htm/ "Background" – New Mechanics Institution Preservation Society] .Retrieved 2007-07-23.]

Swindon’s ‘other’ railway, the Swindon, Marlborough & Andover Railway merged with the Swindon and Cheltenham Extension Railway to form the Midland & South Western Junction Railway, which set out to join the London & South Western Railway with the Midland Railway at Cheltenham. The Swindon, Marlborough & Andover had planned to tunnel under the hill on which Swindon’s Old Town stands but the money ran out, and the railway ran into Swindon Town station, off Devizes Road in the Old Town, skirting the new town to the west, intersecting with the GWR at Rushey Platt and heading north for Cirencester, Cheltenham and the LMS, whose 'Midland Red' livery the M&SWJR adopted.

During the second half of the 19th century Swindon New Town grew around the main line between London and Bristol. The Old Town, the original market town, merged with its newer neighbour at the bottom of the hill to become a single "Swindon".

20th century

On 1 July 1923 the GWR took over the largely single-track M&SWJR and the line northwards from Swindon Town was diverted to Swindon Junction station, leaving the Town station with only the line south to Andover and Salisbury [ [http://www.swindonsotherrailway.co.uk/his.html/ "Swindon's Other Railway" - the Swindon, Marlborough & Andover Railway] . Retrieved on 2007-07-23.] [ [http://glostransporthistory.visit-gloucestershire.co.uk/RR%20MidSWJR.htm/ "The Midland & South Western Junction Railway", Railspot Reloaded] .Retrieved on 2007-07-23.] [ [http://www.steampicturelibrary.com/pictures_447348/Swindon-Town-Station-c1920.html/ "GWR Museum" picture gallery] .Retrieved on 2007-07-23] The last passenger trains on what had been the SM&A ran on 10 September 1961, 80 years after the railway's first stretch opened.

During the first half of the 20th century the railway works was the town's largest employer and one of the biggest in the country, employing more than 14,500 workers. The works' decline started in 1960, when it rolled out the "Evening Star", the last steam engine to be built in the UK [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A15849868/ "Evening Star - Steam Locomotive", BBC, 29 November 2006] .Retrieved on 2007-07-21.] The works lost its loco building role and took on rolling stock maintenance for British Rail. In the late 1970s much of the works closed, and the rest followed in 1986.

21st century

In 2001 construction commenced on Priory Vale, the third and final instalment in Swindon's 'Northern Expansion' project, which began with Abbey Meads and continued at St Andrew's Ridge. In 2002 the New Swindon Company was formed with the remit to regenerate the town centre, [ [http://www.newswindon.co.uk New Swindon - Welcome to New Swindon ] ] reflecting Swindon's regional status.

In February 2008 The Times named Swindon as one of "The 20 best places to buy a property in Britain" [ [http://property.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/property/buying_and_selling/article3327954.ece The 20 best places to buy a property in Britain - Times Online ] ] . Notably, In the list, only Warrington had a lower ratio of house prices to household income in 2007, with the average household income in Swindon being among the highest in the country.

Geography and climate

The town has a total area of approximately 40 km² (25.33 mi²).

Swindon has a temperate climate, with roughly equal length winters and summers. The landscape is dominated by the chalk hills of the Wiltshire Downs to the south and east.

* (coord|51|33|51|N|1|46|15|W|)
*
* Nearby towns and cities: Calne, Chippenham, Wootton Bassett, Cirencester, Cricklade, Highworth, Marlborough
* Nearby villages: Aldbourne, Blunsdon, Chiseldon, Hook, Lambourn, Liddington, Lydiard Millicent, Purton, Ramsbury, Wanborough, Wroughton
* Nearby places of interest: Avebury, Barbury Castle, Crofton Pumping Station, Silbury Hill, Stonehenge, Uffington White Horse
* Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Swindon include - Coate Water, Great Quarry, Haydon Meadow, Okus Quarry and Old Town Railway Cutting.

Government

The local council was created in 1974 as the Borough of Thamesdown, out of Swindon Borough and Highworth Rural Councils. It was not initially called Swindon, because the borough covers a larger area than the town and encompasses villages and land. It was eventually renamed to Borough of Swindon in 1997, however. The borough became a unitary authority on 1 April 1998, following a review by Local Government Commission for England. The town is therefore no longer under the auspices of Wiltshire County Council.

The executive comprises a leader (Cllr Rod Bluh), and a cabinet made up from the Conservative Group. The makeup of the council is Conservative 43 councillors, Labour 12, Liberal Democrat 3 and 1 (previously Labour) independent.

Swindon is represented in the national parliament by two MPs. Anne Snelgrove (Labour) was elected for the South Swindon seat in 2005, and Michael Wills, also Labour, has represented North Swindon since 1997. Prior to 1997, there was a single seat for Swindon, although much of what is now in Swindon was then in the Devizes seat.

Demographics

At the census of 2001 there were 180,061 people and 75,154 occupied houses in the Swindon Unitary Authority.Cite web|url=http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/profiles/00HX-A.asp|title=Swindon UA|accessdate=2007-01-09|publisher=Office of National Statistics|work=Census 2001] The average household size was 2.38 people. The population density was 780/km² (2020.19/mi²). 20.96% of the population were 0-15 years old, 72.80% 16-74, and the remaining 6.24% were 75 years old or over. For every 100 females there were 98.97 males.Approximately 300,000 people live within 20 minutes of Swindon town centre.

The ethnic make-up of the town was 95.2% white, 1.3% Indian, and 3.5% other. 92.4% were born in the UK, 2.7% in the EU, and 4.9% elsewhere.

It has been forecast that there will be a 70,000 (38.9%) increase in Swindon's population by 2026; from the current 180,000, to 250,000.Cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/5223288.stm|title=Vision proposes 35,000 new homes|accessdate=2007-01-09|publisher=BBC News|year=2006]

Swindon is considered to be an almost exact microcosm of the whole United Kingdom in its demographic make-up, to the extent that it has been used for market research purposes and trials of new products and services. One example was the ill-fated Mondex electronic money.

Religious communities include Church of England, Catholic, Mormon, and one of the largest Sikh temples in the UK. More people have joined the Hare Krishna movement in Swindon than in any other English townFact|date=June 2008.

In May 2007 65.3% of households in Swindon had broadband Internet access, the highest in the UK, up 5.5% from June 2006. [ [http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2007/05/23/224015/swindon-and-milton-keynes-top-the-uk-broadband-league.htm/ Swindon and Milton Keynes top the UK broadband league&ndash, Computer Weekly, London, 23 May 2007] .Accessed:2007-08-21.]

A 2007 report by Endsleigh Insurance concluded that the town was the second safest place to live in the UK, second only to Guildford in Surrey.Cite web|url=http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/swindonnewsheadlines/display.var.1430363.0.swindon_is_second_safest_town_in_the_uk.php|title=Swindon is second safest town in the UK|accessdate=2007-05-29|publisher=Swindon Advertiser|date=2007-05-28] This was based on the number of insurance claims made in the region and the total incidences of burglaries and accidents reported. Endsleigh commented that "Swindon is a great example of where local authorities, working hand in hand with the community, have played a key role in bringing down crime"

Polish community

After the end of World War II a significant but unspecified number of Polish refugees were put up temporarily in barracks at Fairford RAF base about 25 km (15 miles) north of Swindon. In about 1950, some of them settled in Scotland and others in Swindon [ [http://archive.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/2000/5/31/244211.html/ "Community celebrates its golden anniversary", Swindon Advertiser, 31st May 2000] .Retrieved on 2007-07-23.] rather than stay in the barracks or hostels they were offered. [ [http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/search/display.var.1300645.0.polish_club_closes_doors_for_last_time.php/ "Polish club closes doors for last time" – Swindon Advertiser, 1 April 2007] . Retrieved on 2007-07-24]

The 2001 UK Census found that most of the Polish-born people had stayed or returned after serving with British forces during World War II. Swindon and Nottingham were parts of this settlement. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/uk/05/born_abroad/countries/html/poland.stm/ "Born Abroad", BBC News] .Retrieved on 2007-07-23.] Data from that census showed that 566 Swindonians were Poland-born. [ [http://www.multicultural-matters.com/polish_community.htm/ – "Polish Community Focus" Multicultural Matters] .Retrieved on 2007-07-23] Notes to those data read: ‘The Polish Resettlement Act of 1947, which was designed to provide help and support to people who wished to settle here, covered about 190,000 people...at the time Britain did not recognise many of the professional [qualifications] gained overseas... [but] many did find work after the war; some went down the mines, some worked on the land or in steel works. Housing was more of a problem and many Poles were forced to live in barracks previously used for POWs...The first generation took pains to ensure that their children grew up with a strong sense of Polish identity.’

In 2004, NHS planners devising services for senior citizens estimated that 5 percent of Swindon’s population were not ‘ethnically British’ [ [http://www.agwsha.nhs.uk/board/july04/Agenda_Item_6.1_Vic_SOC_Final_10_June_20041.pdf/ "Modernising Services for Older People in Swindon"– Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Swindon Primary Care Trust andSwindon Borough Council] .Retrieved on 2007-07-24.] and most of those were culturally Polish.

The town’s Polish ex-servicemen’s club, which had also run a football team for 40 years closed in 2007. Barman Jerzy Trojan, 56, blamed the decline of both club and team on the children and grandchildren of the original refugees losing their Polish identity. [ [http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/search/display.var.1300645.0.polish_club_closes_doors_for_last_time.php/ "Polish club closes doors for last time" – Swindon Advertiser, 1 April 2007] . Retrieved on 2007-27-24.]

Business

Major employers include the Honda car production plant at South Marston, BMW/Mini in Stratton, mobile phone company Motorola, Dolby Labs and retailer W H Smith, with its distribution centre and headquarters. The computer company Intel has its European head office on the south side of the town and Alcatel-Lucent Technologies head office is on the west side. Insurance and financial services companies such as Nationwide Building Society and Zurich Financial Services, the energy company npower, pharmaceutical companies such as Canada's Patheon and the US-based Cardinal Health have their UK divisions headquartered in the town.

Other employers include several Science Research Councils, the British Computer Society, eCommerce provider Shopatron, divisions of Tyco International, consumer goods supplier Reckitt Benckiser and a branch of Becton Dickinson.

Transport

At the junction of two Roman roads, the town has developed over the centuries, with the assistance of the GWR and the canals, into a transport hub. It has two junctions (15 and 16) onto the M4 motorway and is on the ex-GWR main line to London. Swindon has two bus operators - Thamesdown and Stagecoach.
The local council acknowledges the need for more car parking as part of its vision for 2010.Cite web|url=http://www.swindon.gov.uk/roadstransport/roadsandtransport-carparkinggeneral-link|title=Car Parking - General Information|accessdate=2007-01-17|publisher=Swindon Borough Council|work=Transport & Streets]
Swindon is one of the locations for an innovative scheme called [http://carshareswindon.com Car share] . It was set up as a joint venture between Wiltshire County Council and a private organization which now has over 200,000 members registered. Despite the name, however, it is a carpool or ride-sharing rather than a car share scheme, seeking to link people willing to share transport across defined routes.

Roundabouts

The town is notable for its roundabouts and there is even a calendar featuring a different roundabout each month.Cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/3081662.stm|title=Round trip for town's calendar|accessdate=2007-01-17|publisher=BBC News|year=2003]

The best-known roundabout is the 'Magic Roundabout', which is actually not a roundabout but a gyratory, at the junction of five roads including Drove Road, Queens Drive and Fleming Way. It is near the County Ground. The official name used to be County Islands, although it was colloquially known as the Magic Roundabout and the name was changed in the late 1990s to match its nickname. It is the subject of the song "English Roundabout" by local band XTC from the album "English Settlement".

Tourism and recreation

Events

* The town has a healthy live music scene, venues such as [http://www.bee-hive.co.uk The Beehive] , [http://www.zyworld.com/Riff Riff's Bar] , [http://www.the12barswindon.com The 12 Bar] and [http://www.thevicswindon.com/ The Victoria] regularly attracting good quality local acts as well as touring national acts. The Oasis Leisure Centre and the County Ground are also used for some of the more major events.
* The [http://www.swindon.gov.uk/artscentre Arts Centre] , located in Old Town, is a 212 seater theatre which features all types of music, professional and amateur theatre, nationally-recognised comedians, films, children's events, and one-man shows.
* The [http://www.wyverntheatre.org.uk/ Wyvern Theatre] features many events in areas such as film, comedy, and music.
* Swindon hosts many festivals throughout the year, including an annual mela in the Town Gardens, the event attracts up to 10,000 visitors each year.Cite web|url=http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/swindonnewsheadlines/display.var.1580814.0.what_a_jumbo_event.php|title=What a jumbo event!|accessdate=2007-07-29|publisher=Swindon Advertiser|author=Anna Mansell|date=2007-07-29]

hopping

*The Brunel Centre and the Parade are shopping areas in the town centre, built along the site of the filled-in Wilts and Berks Canal.
* Retail parks include Greenbridge, West Swindon Shopping Centre, Stratton and the Orbital Shopping Park.
* McArthur Glen Designer Outlet is an indoor shopping mall for reduced price goods (mainly clothing), using the buildings of the disused railway engine works. The Outlet is adjacent to the Steam Museum.
* Craft shops within Studley Grange Craft Village, inside Blooms Garden Centre, just off Junction 16 of the M4.
* Small specialist shops within BSS House in Cheney Manor Industrial Park and Basepoint Business Centre.

Green spaces

* Public parks include Lydiard Country Park, Stanton Park, Barbury Castle, Queens Park and Coate Water.
* Shaw Community Forest is being developed on the site of a former landfill site in West Swindon.

porting facilities

* The town is served by two leisure centres, the Link Centre and the Oasis.
* Broome Manor Golf Complex is a golf course set against the backdrop of the Marlborough Downs.

Other

* The National Monuments Record Centre is in Swindon, the home of English Heritage.

Media

Print

Swindon has a daily newspaper, the "Swindon Advertiser", popularly known as "The Adver", with sales of over 21,000 per week. Other newspapers circulating in the area include Bristol's daily "Western Daily Press" and the "Adver"'s weekly, the "Gazette and Herald". There are local magazines, including the "The Wiltshire Ocelot", a free listings magazine, "The Local Buddy" , "It's All About Magazine" , "Busy Bee Magazine", "Swindon Star", "Stratton Outlook", "Swindon Link" magazine, "Frequency", an arts and cultural magazine, "The Great Swindon Magazine" and the "Swindon Business News".

Radio

Local radio stations include GWR FM Wiltshire and Brunel FM in the commercial sector, with BBC Radio Swindon as a publicly funded alternative. An AM station, Classic Gold 936/1161 exists as well, but only includes local programming in the late afternoon. A new community station also launched in March 2008, Swindon 105.5, which is one of the only stations in Swindon to broadcast local content 24/7.GWR's current Programmer is one Mark Franklin who was born in Swindon and became the UK's youngest ever presenter of Top Of The Pops aged 17. He presented GWR's evening show in 1992/3 and has now come home to run the radio station he grew up with!

Television

Between 1973 and June 2000 Swindon had its own cable television channel. At first it was called "Swindon Viewpoint", a community television project run mainly by enthusiasts from the basement of a Radio Rentals branch on Victoria Road, and later rebranded as the more commercial Swindon's Local Channel, which included pay-per-view films. [ [http://www.swindoncable.co.uk/ "Swindon Cable - Swindon View Point - The Local Channel", Swindoncable.co.uk] . Retrieved on 2007-07-21.] NTL (later Virgin Media) took over the channel's parent company, ComTel, and closed the station.

Regional news programmes covering Swindon include "Thames Valley Tonight" and "The West Tonight" from regional ITV1 stations and "South Today (Oxford)" and "Points West" from BBC One's regional variants.

Film and television location

Swindon was used as a backdrop to a 1994 commercial for Benylin cough medicine. The advert featured a shot of Britain and then zoomed in and cut to aerial views of Swindon, stopping at a bathroom window at a house in Falconscroft, Covingham.

The long-running television series Casualty has used Swindon locations for two of its episodes. The Oasis Leisure Centre featured in the 1994 episode "Only The Lonely", and Wroughton Airfield was used to recreate a huge motorway crash in the 1997 episode "The Golden Hour".

In 1999 a television advertising campaign for the Honda Civic was shot in the town. The adverts were aired during July/August. Locations included Covingham, West Swindon, Lydiard Park, the town centre, and Lawn Junior School.

In 1999 the Motorola Building in North Swindon was used as a filming location for the James Bond film The World is Not Enough.

Education

Swindon has 53 primary schools, 11 secondary schools and 2 purpose built sixth-form colleges. Two secondary schools also have an in-house sixth-form.
*Commonweal School holds specialist Arts College status.
*Greendown Community School, has been awarded specialist Sports College and Maths and Computing College status.
*Nova Hreod has been awarded dual specialist Science College and Maths and Computing College status.
*Isambard Community School was opened in September 2007 with an intake of only Year 7 (11-12 year olds). It is situated within the mass housing development of Priory Vale.

Futher Education

New College and Swindon College cater for the town's further education and higher education requirements, mainly for 16-21 year olds. Swindon College is one of the largest FE-HE colleges in southwestern England, situated at a purpose-built campus in North Star, Swindon.

The "University of Bath in Swindon" was established in 2000, with its Oakfield Campus in Walcot, east Swindon, although the campus will soon close.

Swindon is the UK's largest centre of population without its own university (by comparison, there are two universities in nearby Bath, which is half Swindon's size). In March 2008 a proposal was put forward by the MP for Swindon South, Anne Snelgrove, for a university-level institution to be established in the town within a decade, culminating in a future 'University of Swindon'.

Museums and cultural institutions

* [http://www.museum-of-computing.org.uk Museum of Computing] Oakfield Campus, University of Bath in Swindon, Marlowe Avenue.
* National Museum of Science & Industry, Wroughton
* [http://www.swindonweb.com/leis/placmuserail0.htm Railway Village Museum]
* Richard Jefferies Museum is dedicated to the memory of one of England's most individual writers on nature and the countryside.
* Steam Railway Museum
* [http://www.swindon.gov.uk/artsandculture/artscentre.htm Swindon Arts Centre] is a theatre and cinema venue, gallery, and meeting place for arts-related activities.
* [http://www.wyverntheatre.org.uk Wyvern Theatre] is the town's principal stage venue
* [http://www.steam-museum.org.uk/heritage/bathroad.htm Swindon Museum and Art Gallery]

ports

Football

*Swindon Town F.C. - Football team playing in Football League One at the County Ground.
*Swindon Supermarine F.C. - Football team playing in Southern League Premier Division.
*Highworth Town F.C. - Football club based in Highworth, playing in the Hellenic League
* [http://www.chiseldonfc.co.uk Chiseldon FC] - Football club based in Chiseldon, playing in the Wiltshire League

Motor sports

*Swindon Robins - Speedway team competing in the Elite League. The team has operated at the Abbey Stadium, Blunsdon since the middle of 1949. Proposals to redevelop the Abbey Stadium are under consideration. Speedway operated at a track in the Gorse Hill area of Swindon in the early days of the sport (late 1920s/early 1930s).
*Foxhill, an internationally renowned motocross circuit is six miles south east of the town. The circuit has staged Grand Prix events, and has been cited as the venue for the British Motocross Grand Prix in 2008.

Other sports

*Swindon Wildcats and Swindon Panthers - Ice hockey teams who play at the 6000 capacity Link Centre ice rink
*Swindon Flames - Roller Hockey team who train at Croft Sports Centre
*Swindon Sonics - Basketball team who compete at the Link Centre.
* [http://www.swindonrfl.co.uk Swindon St George ARLFC] - Amateur Rugby League Club.
* [http://www.swindonrfc.co.uk Swindon RFC] - Amateur Rugby Union Club.
* [http://www.swindonhc.co.uk Swindon Hockey Club] - Amateur field hockey club
* [http://www.swindon-rc.co.uk Swindon Road Club] - Cycling Club.
*There are gliding clubs at Sandhill Farm near Shrivenham and Aston Down airfield near Cirencester.

Twin towns

Swindon is twinned with -
* Salzgitter, Germany (1975)Cite web|url=http://www.swindon.gov.uk/heritage-twintowns|title=Twin Towns|accessdate=2006-12-12|publisher=Swindon Borough Council]
* Ocotal, Nicaragua (1990)Cite web|url=http://www.swindonocotal-link.org/SOLmore.htm|title=More About SOL|accessdate=2006-12-12|publisher=Swindon Ocotal Link]
* Toruń, Poland (2003)
* Chattanooga, USA (2006)Cite web|url=http://www.chattanooga.gov/General_Government/62_3193.htm|title=Chattanoga's Sister Cities|accessdate=2006-12-12|publisher=City of Chattanooga]

In popular culture

Books set in Swindon include "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon, the "Thursday Next" novels by Jasper Fforde, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective, Sherlock Holmes, who ate lunch in the town in the short story "The Boscombe Valley Mystery". Fforde's "Thursday Next" novels feature an alternative-universe Swindon that includes a parodic "Seven Wonders of Swindon," . Fforde makes the city a character in the fiction.

Robert Goddard's "Into the Blue", "Out of the Sun" and most recently "Never Go Back" feature the central character of Harry Barnett from Swindon, and all three novels start in the town. The TV detective series "A Touch of Frost" starring David Jason is often set in or around Swindon (called "Denton" in the series) and early episodes feature briefings of the detective team in front of maps of the Swindon area.

The British television comedy series "The Office" contains many references to Swindon, as Swindon was home to a newly absorbed part of Wernham-Hogg's Slough office after significant downsizing.

The town was referred to heavily in a 1998 episode of The Comic Strip titled "Four Men in a Car" in which Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmundson et al attempt to get to Swindon for a sales conference. and featured Mayall's frequent lament "I just want to get to Swindon".

The British television series "Red Dwarf" makes a reference to the town in series seven, in the episode Epideme. The character Dave Lister dies and is brought back from the dead. Upon being asked what death was like, he replies "Have you ever been to Swindon?"

The father of The Nice Family (a caricature of a strictly disciplined, dull family) in Channel 4's "Absolutely" exclaims "By Swindon, this is an inspiring tale!" during a particularly boring presentation by a travelling salesman.

Comedian Eddie Izzard typically uses Swindon as the base of a fictitious 1960s British moon landing attempt that uses a series of ladders. In his live recording "Dress to Kill", the San Francisco-based audience fails to recognise the reference and he makes light of this:quote|There should be a bigger laugh for that joke, I think.

Yeah, I can't quite understand it; I thought it was really funny. Swindon, a knackered, kind of Fresno town.

They don't seem to be going for it.

They're obviously bastards.|Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill (1999)Cite web|url=http://www.auntiemomo.com/cakeordeath/d2ktranscription.html|title=Dress to Kill transcript at "cake or death: an eddie izzard site|accessdate=2007-10-04]

Actress Diana Dors was born in Swindon in 1931

James Bond

* James Bond author Ian Fleming is buried in the Borough at Sevenhampton.
* Two James Bond films have used Swindon for scenes.Cite web|url=http://www.swindonweb.com/?m=8&s=121&ss=406&c=1346&t=James+Bond|title=James Bond|accessdate=2007-01-09|publisher=SwindonWeb|work=The Swindon Connection]
**The former Renault building in West Swindon was used in "A View to a Kill" (released 1985).Cite web|url=http://www.swindonweb.com/?m=8&s=115&ss=462&c=1169&t=The%20Renault%20Building|title=The Renault Building|accessdate=2007-01-09|publisher=SwindonWeb|work=Swindon Places]
**The futuristic Motorola production plant in Abbey Meads was used for a setting of a Turkish Oil refinery in "The World Is Not Enough" (released 1999).

In music

* The rockpop band XTC, formed in 1977, are from Swindon. Also members of related act Shriekback. XTC's co-founder guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and graphic artist Andy Partridge still lives in the town.
* Noel Gallagher, frontman of the rock band Oasis chose the name of his band after visiting Swindon's Oasis swimming pool and leisure centre in 1993, while working as a roadie for a band, Inspiral Carpets, which had been performing at the leisure centre.
* Supertramp keyboard player and singer Rick Davies comes from Swindon. The sleeve art for "Breakfast in America" shows the band's members in an American diner reading their hometowns' newspapers, Davies is reading Swindon's "Evening Advertiser" (since renamed as the Swindon Advertiser).
* Moody Blues' vocalist, lead guitarist and songwriter Justin Hayward is from Swindon. He wrote their signature song "Nights in White Satin".
* Electronic music outfit Meat Beat Manifesto, were formed in Swindon in 1987.
* 1970s novelty act The Barron Knights released "The Swindon Cowboy" as the B-side of their 1980 single "Never Mind the Presents". Written after the band played a gig in town, it gently mocks the Swindon accent.
* Actress and singer Billie Piper was born in Swindon in 1982
* Metal band Eternal Lord base themselves in Swindon

Notable Swindonians

ee also

*Swindon Civic Trust

References

Further reading

* "Swindon", Mark Child, Breedon Books, 2002, hardcover, 159 pages, ISBN 1-85983-322-5
* "Francis Frith's Swindon Living Memories (Photographic Memories S.)", Francis Frith and Brian Bridgeman, The Frith Book Company Ltd, 2003, Paperback, 96 pages, ISBN 1-85937-656-8

External links

* [http://www.swindon.gov.uk/ Swindon.gov.uk] Borough Council website
* [http://www.swindonweb.com/ SwindonWeb] Dedicated to Swindon
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/ BBC Wiltshire] BBC site for Wiltshire & Swindon
* [http://www.swindonlink.com/ Swindon Link Magazine] For north and west Swindon
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/history/archive_films/ Swindon archive films] and [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/history/photos/swindon/index.shtml Historic photos]
* [http://www.newswindon.co.uk New Swindon Company] Regeneration plans for the town centre
* [http://www.visitswindon.co.uk/ Visit Swindon] Tourism website


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