THESE pictures are from a 32-page booklet called the Swindon Official Guide and Souvenir.

Dated 1921, it was a joint production by the town council and the chamber of commerce, and was aimed at locals and visitors alike.

One of the most striking images is of what was then still known as Coate Reservoir.

The accompanying description ran: “The name gives one a very wrong impression, for the Reservoir is really a charming little picturesque Lake of 72 acres, and has a length of three quarters of a mile.

“Originally it was constructed as a water supply for the old Wilts & Berks Canal, but the work was completed in 1822, and consequently time has given the place a very natural aspect.

“Although still a most useful water supply, it has been developed as a pleasure resort, and is greatly appreciated by a large number of visitors.

“The water holds a good stock of coarse fish, and specimens adorn many of the smoke rooms and halls of England.”

Recent specimens had included a 26lb 12oz - about 12kg - pike, a season’s record for England.

As was usually the case with such booklets, local businesses placed adverts to help cover the cost of publication.

They included Bays and Co, an ironmongery and furniture shop in Wood Street, Great Western Clothiers in Farringdon Street, grocer HG English in Fleet Street and Bath Road, and photography business Protheroe and Simons in Victoria Road.

Of the few telephone numbers given, most had two digits. Draper and furniture sellers Chandler Bros had perhaps installed theirs recently, as their number was 106.

The Bell Hotel, which in those days had a canopied frontage, was described as offering first class family and commercial accommodation, with facilities including a coffee room, a private sitting room, billiards and excellent cuisine.

A general description of the town noted: “The air of Swindon, especially on the hill, is exceptionally pure; the prevailing west and south-west winds have the exhilarating qualities of sea breezes as they sweep over the town from the Downs.”

Three breweries were listed and described as important - Arkell’s of Kingsdown and two Old Town firms, Bowly’s and Godwin’s.

The two markets listed were the Monday cattle market - “...thronged with farmers and country-folk” - and the Friday Corporation Market in Cromwell Street, which coincided with pay day.