EVEN before the coronavirus pandemic brought a huge lurch towards the internet shopping habits in Swindon were going through change.

The days when department stores like McIlroys were the jewel in the town centre’s crown have long gone, taking old favourites like Debenhams and Top Shop in their wake.

McIlroys, famous for its grand staircase, closed 22 years ago after well over a century. British Home Stores shut in 2016 and Debenhams went this year. House of Fraser was set to close last month but was saved in an 11th-hour rent agreement.

In these pictures we look back to the days when the streets seemed busier and the Brunel Centre was new, when the old market hall was demolished and eventually replaced with the tented market - now set to be replaced with restaurants and flats.

If you're interested in the town's recent history why not join our We Grew Up in Swindon Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/swindonnostalgia