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Theatre plan not new

Ambitious plans are revealed to create a new home for Swindon’s art gallery and museum, it comes as no surprise to discover that this plan is based on yet another demolition job, that of the Wyvern Theatre (SA 14 March). In 2007 the council spent £1.3m on an upgrade to the Wyvern Theatre justifying the costs on the basis that - “this project demonstrates the council’s commitment to embracing and enhancing culture in the borough.” The expectation was that “This exciting venue will help establish Swindon as a destination of choice for performing arts.”

What a change of heart given that only a few months before the then council leader’s view was the Wyvern was in the wrong location and needed to be rebuilt.

Swindon councillors have a track record for such action – Queenstown School – gone; the Corporation Bus Depot – gone; Aspen House – gone; the Wyvern multi-story car park – gone and in their place stands nothing more than empty space. Space which we are constantly told will be developed either with shops. Offices or the latest vogue – housing.

The issue of the town’s famed works of art has exercised the minds of civic leaders for over fifty years with grandiose plans being produced for a new civic centre incorporating a concert hall (on the site of the existing Wyvern surface car park), to the self promoting SMAG which was supposed to fill the void left by the demolition of the Wyvern multi-storey car park.

It is now suggested the “nationally important collection will be put on display in pop-up or rotating smaller exhibitions in civic and heritage buildings.” That suggestion is neither original or unique and has been recommended by others, indeed some two years ago I wrote “there are various building within the borough which could easily and inexpensively have been adapted to provide equally acceptable facilities to those of the Osbourne Samuel Gallery” The latter being the privately owned gallery in London to which the council loaned some of its works.

Coun Heenan claims the existing Old Town art gallery cost the taxpayer too much. Might I suggest Coun Heenan asks the people of Swindon whether the current subsidy is too much.

After all the so called subsidy is actually nothing of the sort, it’s simply what it costs to provide a facility which the people want.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Useless bus shelters

Re: the vile weather that nature has flung at us recently: hail, rain, strong winds and anything else in her armoury that she sees fit to use.

What is the purpose of Swindon’s modern and trendy bus shelters?

They are totally useless in bad weather! As useless as their original designer.

The sloping seats are so designed to keep one’s posterior constantly struggling to remain seated. A foreign visitor might think one had worms or piles!

In one shelter recently we tightly packed sardines (so it seemed in the inclement weather) caught in strong winds, rain, and hail, were soaked to the skin. It crashed through the flimsy barriers, if one dares to call them such, and soaked the lot of us.

So much for bus ‘shelters!’ No doubt designed with vandals in mind, but why punish regular bus passengers during inclement weather?

They should be dismantled and redesigned so that the ‘we care about the comfort of our passengers’ bus companies keep us dry while placing the original designer tied up in a bus shelter somewhere during stormy weather for a few days so that he may reflect upon the error of his ways.

Just a thought.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

Brexit, the pantomime

I suspect that even Remainers never mind Brexiteers are getting fed up with the pantomime being played at Westmuddlestir. That lot couldn’t decide between whether to wear a fleece lined jacket or a T shirt and sun glasses in a blizzard in the Cairngorms. They disagree with each other about implementing the vote for Brexit. But they all accepted a forty pounds a week pay rise. They didn’t argue about that one for nearly three years did they? Let’s imagine they turned Westminster into a pantomime.

Here with the help of their European cohorts may I suggest some of the with the audience shouting regarding Brexit “Is it a deal ? Oh no it isn’t.” The pantomime horse could be Peter Mandelson in the front and Kenneth Clarke at the rear. The smirking Cheshire cat, not even a close second for that part, Tony Beware, sorry Blair. Prince Charming, the hand kissing of Theresa Mayhem stealing the show - Michael Barrier, sorry Barnier. King Rat, only one man for that job. Step forward Comrade Jeremy Conundrum.

Aladdin with his Genie called Britain escaping from the lamp of unelected dictatorship. The Attorney General Geoffrey Cox who saw through the smoke and mirrors of the Disunion, to make us a cash cow vassal state for ever and legally advised Parliament accordingly. Pity our two Swindon MPs fell for that one and voted with Theresa May, or Maybe not.

Bill Williams, Merlin Way, Covingham

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