Sarah Singleton looks at what is on offer to see and do in Swindon this weekend

A colourful display

BRIGHTEN up a January weekend by visiting an exhibition of colourful watercolours by Janet Boulton at the Swindon Museum & Art Gallery.

Janet is internationally known for her watercolour images and paper relief works – but she also has connections with Swindon.

The exhibition, called A Seeming Diversity, includes paintings inspired by music, still life and gardens.

She was born in Swindon, and after art school, Janet returned to the town and worked as an art teacher at Swindon College, Commonweal and Hreod Parkway.

She had an exhibition at the Swindon Museum & Art Gallery in 1977, called Windows and Reflections, which was inspired by her views from classrooms in the town.

The works in her current Swindon exhibition both reward close-looking, by sharpening awareness of colour, texture, form and design – but also direct thoughts outwards to a wider world of experience, according to Richard Morphet CBE.

Since the late seventies, she has worked at Ian Hamilton Finlay’s garden at Little Sparta, the Villa La Pietra and the Garden Museum.

Her pictures have a place in private and public collections around the UK and abroad.

This exhibition, which runs until January 20, celebrates her innovative use of watercolour and her engagement with nature, beauty, architecture and music. Admission is free.

Local talent rocks the Vic

Blow away the January blues with a night of music from local performers at the Victoria in Swindon tonight.

A line-up of talented bands includes The Sulks, The Harlers, Basement Club and Josh Wolfsohn. The Sulks are a new four-piece guitar band, formed in 2016 from the Swindon suburbs. Fusing dramatic, harmonised vocal layers with interesting lyrics, the band’s explosive live performances have already earnt them attention on the local scene. Their wide-ranging influences include the drama of Arcade Fire and the pop sensibility of Foals and The Beatles.

Alternative rock combo The Harlers are another Swindon band, featuring Chris Pritchard on guitar and vocals, Jamie Warren on drums, and Mitch Malone on bass and vocals. They blend growling blues melodies with foot-stomping grooves and soulful vocals, to create a modern garage rock sound.

Basement Club is a local indie band counting Two Door Cinema Club and the Magic Gang among its influences, and Josh Wolfsohn released a mini album called Fat Bag of Flowers last year.

The event begins at 8.30pm and tickets cost £3, available from

Pull on your wellies to blow away the cobwebs

Dig out your boots and dress up warm for a walk through Wiltshire’s wintery countryside this Saturday, organised by the Coate Water Rangers.

The gentle four-mile stroll is suitable for families and walkers of all ages, and will take place through the January countryside around Coate.

A half-way stop will be scheduled at a local watering hole, giving walkers a chance to warm up and enjoy some refreshments, before returning to Coate in the late afternoon sunshine and fresh air.

The walk begins at the Coate Water Ranger Centre in Coate Water Country Park, off Marlborough Road in Swindon. Meet at 11.30am and bring money for refreshments, as well as clothes and footwear appropriate for wet and muddy conditions.