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View From The Sticks

The continued debate on Regent Circus

Swindon Advertiser: Dave Wallis

Posted on 2:13pm Tuesday 12th August 2014

The Regent Circus redevelopment continues to focus attention on, what appears to many, the folly of blurring the distinctions of priorities between motorist and pedestrian.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Can Town win anything with kids?

Posted on 6:00am Friday 8th August 2014

Due to a long overdrawn court case to see who owed the club at the start of the summer, Town’s quest for new additions has been seriously affected.

Born Again Swindonian

A guest post on BAS from Councillor Jim Robbins on Lydiard park & House

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:15am Tuesday 15th July 2014

A few days ago #BAS published a guest post from Councillor Jim Robbins concerning his visit to and reflections on #Swindon splendid STEAM Museum. Now here is his report on Lydiard Park and House another of Swindon’s gems – this one well-known though sadly so many aren’t. Like the West Swindon sculpture trail to give but one example.

Born Again Swindonian

If you're a frustrated tea shop owner with time to give then the Richard Jefferies museum needs you!

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:09am Tuesday 15th July 2014

I was up at the Richard Jefferies museum again this morning. I’ve written about the place before here so this post is largely to share some snaps I took around the garden while I was up there and also to make a plea:

View From The Sticks

Park… and taken for a ride

Swindon Advertiser: Dave Wallis

Posted on 12:08pm Thursday 10th July 2014

This blog is all about how Swindon can be viewed from outside the borough’s boundaries, and so often I read yet another story that suggests it has taken another step to be visitor unfriendly.

Born Again Swindonian

A guest post on Born again Swindonian from Councillor Jim Robbins

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:28am Tuesday 8th July 2014

Social media can, I feel, be likened to an out of hours water cooler. A place where you can pick up all sorts of interesting titbits. Like for instance that Councillor Jim Robins had been fortunate enough to have a guided tour round Lydiard Park and House. Never one to miss an opportunity I tweeted him in request of a guest post about what he’d learned. So full was his response that I’m actually dividing what he kindly sent into two posts – cos it transpired not only had he been gallivanting round Lydiard Park but the wonderful STEAM museum as well. So here’s what he sent me about his visit with the people at STEAM. I’ll give you all a few days to digest this one then I’ll release his writings about Lydiard.

Born Again Swindonian

Beatrice from Athens, via Sydney Australia, reflects on Swindon's art scene: Out of Centre

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:41am Tuesday 8th July 2014

For some time now I've had a section on Born again Swindonian for guest bloggers. It adds another dimension to blog apart from which I can't know everything, be everywhere etc.etc. I haven't until though shared them on here because, apart from some context that I write around them, my own work. However I'm reviewing that policy because I think perhaps they deserve to get to another audience.

View From The Sticks

Take me home, country roads

Swindon Advertiser: Dave Wallis

Posted on 2:35pm Wednesday 18th June 2014

Well it’s been a crash course in ruralisation which I’ve loved. Moving to the ‘real’ country at the turn of the year is everything I’d hoped.

Born Again Swindonian

Fun facts about Swwindon. Titter ye not - there are lots!

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:56am Sunday 15th June 2014

Okay, following on from the A to Z of Swindon and inspired by a leaflet picked up in the Thamesdown Transport travel shop I thought it might be cool to have a post about Swindon fun facts/did you know stuff. When I decided to start this blog I conceived a list of 10 things to celebrate about Swindon - some of it still work in progress. So here is a random list, excluding the items on the leaflet seen below, of 10 fab facts about Swindon:

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Swindon Town at the World Cup

Posted on 6:00am Tuesday 10th June 2014

Football’s biggest prize might be held thousands of miles away, but for the first time in 20 years, Town fans can look forward to watching a current player take to the field in the most famous cup competition in sport.

Born Again Swindonian

An A to Z of what makes Swindon great

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:55am Thursday 5th June 2014

Monday 26th May 2014 Okay – I think this has to be done now. There has recently been some furore in the media about some pointless celebrity who will be forgotten soon enough, having a pop at Swindon.

Born Again Swindonian

The Richard Jefferies museum needs you!

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:14pm Friday 23rd May 2014

Hurrah! At last I have managed to get to the Richard Jefferies museum. It has only taken me the twenty years. One doesn't have to rush these things does one?

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Who was hot and who was not this season?

Posted on 6:00am Friday 9th May 2014

AFTER waving goodbye to the 2013/14 season last Saturday, it’s time to take a look back at Mark Cooper’s squad, and how they performed over the campaign.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Pritchard stands above the rest this season

Posted on 6:00am Friday 2nd May 2014

SATURDAY'S defeat at Notts County ended Town's season as a competitive concern but, overall, I would class the campaign as a success.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: A forgotten face keeps our dreams alive

Posted on 6:00am Friday 25th April 2014

He has a big future ahead of him in the game, although I don’t think that will be at Spurs and I can see him lighting up the Championship next season.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Facing a battle to hang on to prospects

Posted on 6:00am Friday 18th April 2014

LOUIS Thompson’s second goal in three games saw Town pick up another impressive home win against Brentford in this unpredictable season on Saturday.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: So have we had a good season, or not?

Posted on 6:00am Saturday 12th April 2014

AFTER Louis Thompson’s winner against Sheffield United gave Town some play-off optimism a couple of week ago, most of that hope has started to drain away over the past week.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Oh brother, are we still in with a chance

Posted on 6:00am Friday 4th April 2014

ON Saturday the Town End witnessed a moment that will be remembered for many years to come.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Keeping it local is the only way to get the real football supporter’s experience

Posted on 6:00am Friday 28th March 2014

In my experience you can’t rule out anything, especially with Swindon Town.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Standing up for a common sense solution

Posted on 6:00am Friday 21st March 2014

After experiencing a couple of months of stagnant performances from Town, it was exciting to once again experience some passion and it came in the shape of a West Country derby.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Questions to answer after dramatic slump

Posted on 6:00am Friday 14th March 2014

IF Swindon Town’s play-off hopes weren’t over before this week, Milton Keynes and Wolves have firmly hammered the final nail into the coffin.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Campaign progress dividing supporters

Posted on 6:00am Friday 7th March 2014

DESPITE a much-improved performance against Crewe last Saturday, Town’s poor league form continues to gather pace.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: A big summer overhaul is in the offing

Posted on 6:00am Friday 28th February 2014

If Town were going to be involved in the play-off hunt this season, we had to enjoy a successful February.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Wembley dream dashed, but could have been a different Storey

Posted on 6:00am Friday 21st February 2014

TOWN’S dream of making their third trip to Wembley in five years came to a dramatic end on Monday night.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Wembley is the carrot

Posted on 12:24am Friday 14th February 2014

NATHAN Byrne bundling in Town’s winner at Port Vale was the second time in just four days that Mark Cooper’s side had comeback from a two-goal deficit.

View From The Sticks

Under the weather

Swindon Advertiser: Dave Wallis

Posted on 8:52am Wednesday 12th February 2014

Something that is uniting both town and country at the moment is surely the weather and the drenching that we are all experiencing every time we step outside the door.

Born Again Swindonian

In the mosh pits at the Central library

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Sunday 9th February 2014

Saturday 8th February Mosh pits? Music? In a library? Yes. You heard it right. Today is National Libraries day and in honour of the occasion public libraries up and down the land have been up to all sorts of things. And Swindon’s central library put on a free live acoustic music set in the Chapters cafe area over the lunchtime period. What a superb idea!

Born Again Swindonian

Band on the Run – to success as they ‘Talk in Code’

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:30am Sunday 9th February 2014

I won’t lie. Prior to writing this I had no real idea of what indie-rock is. My musical tastes are catholic but somewhat time-lagged being as how I’ve not much moved on from the 90s.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Latics show up problems

Posted on 6:00am Friday 7th February 2014

LATE goals from Nile Ranger and Michael Smith papered over the cracks against Shrewsbury, but Town weren’t so lucky against Oldham last weekend.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Michael is money well spent

Posted on 6:00am Friday 31st January 2014

MICHAEL Smith has enjoyed a superb start to life at Town, with a brace on his debut against Shrewsbury and the equaliser at Walsall on Tuesday.

Leadership, Resilience and Wellbeing will be addressed by Swindon Mindful Employer

Posted on 9:20am Wednesday 29th January 2014

Leadership,Resilience and Wellbeing are important says Swindon Mindful Employer

Born Again Swindonian


Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 5:36pm Sunday 26th January 2014

Yesterday was my last day at uni for the first semester of this, my final year. Gulp. So, being in the mood to chillax just a little, I arranged to meet a friend for a drink and early supper when I landed back in Swindon from Bristol at tea-time.

Born Again Swindonian

Olivio's: and how social media saved the day

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 5:31pm Sunday 26th January 2014

It wasn't the most auspicious of starts to spending an evening at Olivio's, a new-ish Italian/Mexican combo on Victoria Road in Old Town.

Born Again Swindonian

Faringdon bake-off and Little Miss Cake-maker

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 5:17pm Sunday 26th January 2014

Today, in the cause of giving moral support - and the prospect of getting some cake - I accompanied a good friend (and Swindon resident) of mine to Faringdon where she had entered some of her baked goods into a bake-off being held there for Cancer Research. Yes, I know - where's the link to Swindon in that - apart from that we both live here? Well, surprisingly enough in more ways than one.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Support needed – in good times and bad

Posted on 6:00am Friday 24th January 2014

OUR 27-year wait for a win at the Priestfield Stadium continues after another poor away performance from Mark Cooper’s side.

Born Again Swindonian

A Mini adventure

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:41am Saturday 18th January 2014

I tell you. I swear to your God and mine that I walk about with my eyes shut half the time. I've mentioned in my writings on here more than once, how I've managed to not really notice things. Well, some things are easier to miss than others for sure but you'd really think I'd have noticed a Mini climbing up the wall of an office block wouldn't you?

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Maddening inconsistency threatens to undermine our hopes

Posted on 6:00am Friday 17th January 2014

DESPITE beating one of the favourites for promotion last weekend, Town fans had to endure another lacklustre away day from Mark Cooper’s side on Tuesday night.

Born Again Swindonian

Benchmarking on the South Marston cycle path

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:47am Tuesday 14th January 2014

I just love social media! One of my Twitter and blog followers sent me this photo,which is great, as being a non-driver and bogged down in studies I don't get to all four corners of our town. What you are looking at is a new(ish) piece of public art that is also a handy bench: a perfect marriage of form and function indeed! But not just any old bench. This here is a Portrait Bench. So now, not only do I know about this lovely bench, I also know about the concept of portrait benches and a little bit more about Swindon's history. And it started with a Tweet!

Born Again Swindonian

A tiny tour round the town

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:23am Tuesday 14th January 2014

17th December 2013 Yesterday was the day of the Grand UWE Joint English Hons Mature Students Christmas 'do'. Which meant my friend Kim, who hails from Bristol, came to Swindon for the day and we trawled round coffee shops and cafes, did a bit of heritage and ended the day in Bistro Les Chat in Old Town. And a jolly good time was had by both!

Mental health and Mindful Employer headlines at Swindon CIPD gathering

Posted on 10:24am Monday 13th January 2014

Swindon CIPD looks at mental health in March meeting

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Taking a punt on Barker as returning players offer squad a welcome boost

Posted on 6:00am Friday 10th January 2014

After a quiet week on the pitch at the County Ground, Town confirmed their first signing of 2014.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: It was all aboard the County Ground rollercoaster

Posted on 6:00am Friday 3rd January 2014

THREE managers, three different owners, selling players for pittance and a midnight raid from a former manager, just another year at Swindon Town.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Swindon Town in 2013

Posted on 6:00am Tuesday 31st December 2013

Not in the entire history of Swindon Town have we witnessed a year like 2013.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Nile issue underlines firepower shortage

Posted on 6:00am Friday 20th December 2013

SWINDON’S lack of a number nine came back to haunt them again last weekend as Mark Cooper’s striker-less formation nearly sent the traveling fans over the edge at Bramall Lane.

2013 - what year for the Swindon Mindful Employer Network !

Posted on 9:10am Tuesday 17th December 2013

What a  year 2013 has been for the Swindon Mindful Employer Network !  Now recognised as one of the largest and most well attended business networks in the Swindon area, concentrating on mental health and well-being issues in the workplace – the initiative focussed on workplace cultures in March with a visit to Swindon from two authors of an influential government report. You know when something is a hit at the Jurys Inn Swindon – when they started delivering more comfy chairs into the packed conference room.  Employers and businesses were waiting eagerly for a presentation by the authors of a government report on employee engagement  – and they were not disappointed by the two-hour session. David Macleod and Nita Clarke, armed with impressive CVs and superb communication skills, provided one of the best network meetings since its launch in 2008.  The report entitled ‘Engaging for Success’ was originally commissioned by Lord Mandelson during the last Labour government and adopted by the Coalition government.  David Macleod has worked at the highest levels of industry and is a former senior adviser on change and performance at the Cabinet Office.  Nita was formerly the adviser on trade unions to Prime Minister Tony Blair, working as assistant political secretary in the Political Office at 10 Downing Street. Their report to government in 2009 demonstrated the link between employee engagement and improved productivity – enhanced staff well-being and reduced absenteeism.

Born Again Swindonian

Swindon and iconic buildings

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:33pm Sunday 15th December 2013

I've always rather liked the Spectrum building or the Renault building as it tends to be referred to, even though the car company moved out of it some years ago. I didn't though know very much about it until recently. 've always rather liked the Spectrum building or the Renault building as it tends to be referred to, even though the car company moved out of it some years ago. I didn't though know very much about it until recently. Whilst I did know that it had been used in a Bond film - 'A view to a Kill' in 1984 - I didn't know that it was designed by none other than Sir Norman Foster, internationally renowned architect. I also was ignorant of the fact that the design won a number of awards including the prestigious Financial Times 'Architecture at Work' Award in 1984. Famous for his steel and glass designs, Lord Foster created the Gherkin and Millennium Bridge in London, rebuilt Berlin's Reichstag and also Hong Kong Airport, so our building is in very illustrious company. Being such an iconic building it's unsurprising that there's reams of writing about it on the internet. But as ever our very own Swindon Web has an informative article about it. From there I learned that: 'this was not Sir Norman's first Swindon FT winning design. He won the same award for his design of the Reliance Controls Electronics Factory, Greenbridge, Swindon in 1967. The building was unfortunately demolished in 1991 to make way for PC World.' I know I've said I don't want to use this blog as a place to rant and rave but seriously - what?! Why would someone do that? So it's great to hear this week that the Renault/Spectrum building has now been given Grade II listed status by English Heritage in what it describes as a move to 'protect post-war' architecture.

Swindon concrete diving platform given listed status

Posted on 1:08pm Sunday 15th December 2013

The now-defunct diving platform at Coate Water invokes a fair amount of nostalgia in me. As a child I was sometimes taken to Langold Lake (5 miles the 'other' side of Worksop).

Born Again Swindonian

Rangoli - a revelation

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:20am Sunday 15th December 2013

"Rangoli offers the first Indian chef worked under Michelin star restaurant, to cook authentic Indian dishes with modern twist in Swindon" Well, I reckon I've found a new favourite Indian Restaurant in the shape of Rangoli - on Groundwell Road. It opened in November last year apparently but I was blissfully unaware of its existence until last night when I, and my daughter and son-in-law (up from London for the weekend) were introduced to it by friends of theirs.

Dan Johnson

DAN THE FAN: Unearthing hidden gems will be crucial

Posted on 6:00am Friday 13th December 2013

On Tuesday night Swindon reached the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Area Final after a 3-1-penalty shootout win over Stevenage, the second time in three seasons Town have reached this stage of the competition.

View From The Sticks

Horses for cross country courses

Swindon Advertiser: Dave Wallis

Posted on 5:08pm Thursday 12th December 2013

When I started this blog, my reference to living in Sticksville was rather tongue in cheek.

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