EARLIER this month Rewind chronicled Swindon’s high-profile attempts to secure city status in the years around the turn of the millennium.

Recently unearthed in our archives is a reminder of a day when the town was praised to the skies by the country’s most popular newspaper.

“Well Done Swindon,” said the headline of a front page editorial in the Sun, beneath an unrelated photo of Caroline O’Shea, a competitor in the first series of Big Brother.

“It represents all that is Great about Britain,” the editorial said.

“Great workers, great companies, great lifestyle - in fact, a GREAT place to be.

“Once Swindon was a fading sign on a railway platform. Then a name on an exit from the M4.

“In the new millennium it is a town reborn.

“In Swindon, the workers produce more profit per head than any town in the country. Profits mean jobs. That’s why Swindon has virtually full employment.

“That’s why Honda has delivered a massive vote of confidence in the town by switching all its Civic production here. That’s why the world’s leaders in computer technology are investing millions in Swindon.”

Although the piece was apparently prompted by the news from Honda, Swindon was also used as a stick with which to beat the EU and its defenders:

“Swindon is the opposite of the way Europe does business, locked in the straitjacket of over-regulation and a sick-looking single currency.

“Swindon works while Euroland doesn’t.

“Euro fanatics like Peter Mandelson, Stephen Byers and Robin Cook should take a look at Swindon.

“Why not ask Tony Blair to bring them down for a day when he gets back from his holidays?”

The virtues of Swindon were also extolled across two pages inside, dominated by a photograph of Melinda Messenger.

“There were mentions for the Magic Roundabout, Diana Dors, Billie Piper, Justin Hayward and other Swindon notables, as well as quotes from local people.

Swindon mayor Arthur Archer said: “This is a place where people want to live and work.”

The then North Swindon MP Michael Wills and his South Swindon counterpart Julia Drown praised the town for its accessibility, work ethic and standard of living.