HERE is our third selection of vintage Swindon pub images from the collection of keen Swindon photographer Mike Dolman.

In the mid-1980s he bought a Canon AE1 SLR camera from a former colleague who had tried to set up a photography business.

Mr Dolman, now aged 60 and a retired civil servant who lives in Rodbourne Cheney, wanted to develop his skills with his new camera. He hit on the idea of photographing every pub in and around Swindon and in many communities elsewhere in Wiltshire.

The result is a unique series of windows on community hubs as they were three decades ago.

Mike still has the camera he used. He said: “It’s got a lens cap from the 1982 World Cup, and I hung on to it purely because of that.”


APART from a slight change of paint scheme and some general sprucing-up, the much-loved Swindon pub has hardly changed its external appearance. It remains popular both as a meeting place for football fans and a traditional local pub and restaurant.


WHEN Purton Station was wiped off the map during British Rail cost-cutting in the early 1960s, the old Railway Hotel had its name changed to The Ghost Train and carried on regardless. It remained open for many years but was converted into private homes in 2009.


NAMED for an OId Testament pathway to Heaven seen in a dream, the pub in Ermin Street, Stratton St Margaret, may have been the area’s earliest. The building, or parts of it, date back to the 18th century. Closed and boarded up by 1999, it was later converted to homes.


HERE is a photograph of two pubs. One didn’t exist at the time and the other doesn’t now. The EMI cinema was originally the Savoy and later became the ABC and the Cannon. These days it’s The Savoy again, but is a Wetherspoon pub. If the advertised films are anything to go by, Mike Dolman took the photo in 1984. The Rifleman closed some years ago and its building is now home to a buffet fusion restaurant.


DOMINATING the junction of Station Road and Corporation Street, The White House was one of Swindon’s most historic pubs. Opened as the Queen’s Arms in 1842, it changed its name in 1910. The pub and several other nearby buildings were demolished in 2002 to make way for flats.


WITH its unique roof, The Crumpled Horn in Eldene is of interest to connoisseurs of offbeat 1970s architecture, as well as being a much-loved community pub.


THE popular pub in Swindon’s Westcott Place was the scene of a notorious murder in 1903. A bitter 24-year-old man called Edward Palmer drew a revolver and shot his former fiancée, 19-year-old Esther Swinford. He earned himself an appointment with the hangman. In 2006 The Ship was relaunched as a music venue, but closed in 2012. An application was made to turn the building into housing.


THE pub on Swindon’s Eastcott Hill opened in the late 19th century after Arkell’s bought and knocked together some houses. Before being converted into flats a few years ago, it became known as the last old-fashioned Swindon pub where ale was gravity-poured rather than being pumped.