You probably don’t even have your 2020 diary yet, but if you can, it might be worth making plans for the weekend of September 18-20.

It’s still 18 months away, but excitement is already mounting on social media about those dates, and some people have already started to plan how they are going to fly half-way round the world to spend the weekend, right here in Swindon.

They are coming for something called the XTC Convention 2020, converging on STEAM to celebrate their love for the Swindon band. Whether you are an XTC fan or not (I am), the band tell us a lot about ourselves, especially our failure to properly celebrate all those things Swindonians do that we should be proud of.

I really don’t think local people realise just how much esteem XTC are held in, right around the world, even though it is years since they stopped producing music together, and despite all they have done to put Swindon on the cultural map.

They continue to be held in the highest esteem by fellow musicians for their innovative approach and they have a surprising influence on new bands, because although I confess I don’t listen to much new music these days, a lot of what I do hear seems to be youngsters trying to sound like XTC.

New books about them also continue to be published, all the time. Another, called What Do You Call That Noise?, is hot off the press and already being lapped up by XTC’s worldwide following. And all this for a band made up of four ‘ordinary’ blokes from round here. I am full of admiration for the organisers of the convention, who are a small group of dedicated volunteers, and have done a great job in promoting Swindon already, without a budget.

When the time comes, I think they deserve support from Swindon Borough Council, local media, businesses and all of us. With this town facing some tough times, anything that demonstrates our self-pride and self-belief to the outside world has to be worth backing. The convention’s Facebook page is already buzzing, most noticeably with Americans trying to work out how to get to Swindon, including several who have never had a reason to cross the Atlantic before.

They have already checked out the Magic Roundabout online and are wondering whether they will be brave enough to risk driving across it. I have been assuring them that our super-efficient traffic landmark is, like XTC’s music, another product of Swindon’s gift for innovation and creativity. Others are dumbfounded to discover there is nothing in the town to mark the fact that XTC are from Swindon.

When I had the great pleasure of meeting Andy Partridge, a couple of years ago, he was also bemused by the lack of local recognition, although we should know by now that that’s typical of Swindon’s attitude to a rich heritage that could and should be used to bolster the town’s image, but rarely is.

Although Swindon has plenty to be proud of, and lots of its sons and daughters deserve recognition, visitors could be excused for thinking otherwise.

Those who have already put the convention in their diaries are even talking of clubbing together to raise enough money to put up an XTC statue (which might be tricky) and wondering why we haven’t already named some streets after Messrs Partridge, Moulding, Gregory and Chambers (which would surely be easy).

I’m wondering too. It wouldn’t be asking much to put them on our map in exchange for all they have done to put Swindon on the world map.