Great news: a local building with an interesting past could be in line for an interesting future, too.

As revealed in this paper, that building is The Limes, or – to give it its alternative title – the Naughty Boys’ Home.

That’s what it was in our house and to other children growing up in Upper Stratton, many of whom were told that if you really misbehaved “You’ll go to The Limes.”

We never thought to question whether or not the children residing there were indeed being punished, or just unfortunate enough to be in care.

We were just led to understand The Limes could be our fate, too, and just the threat of being taken there was usually enough.

But not always.

I still have a memory of being driven right to the doorstep of the Naughty Boys’ Home, one night, before finally relenting on whatever it was that I was having a tantrum about.

And others were braver.

As my mother revealed after we had all grown up, one of my older brothers also got as far as the doorstep – but he decided to call my father’s bluff, saying he was prepared to accept the consequences and be left there.

And there was no answer to that.

I’m not sure threatening to put your child into care would still be considered a legitimate device for parents to adopt, these days, but if it seems wrong to us now, I have to say I look back on my upbringing with not just fondness but relief.

After all, in an age when many still thought it was good parenting to not just threaten “a good hiding” but hand one out without remorse, the comparatively benign idea of the Naughty Boys’ Home was as harsh as my upbringing ever got.

But the shadow of The Limes loomed large in my life because I had to pass it every day on my way to both infants’ and junior schools.

And it is always in the background.

These days I am often seen cycling past it in my geriatric attempts to get fit, and when I was researching for a book I co-wrote about the history of Stratton Workhouse, I was surprised to find The Limes was first opened as a children’s home to accommodate various innocent minors who were previously brought up in the workhouse.

They included many children whose only ‘crime’ was to be born illegitimately – often to a no less innocent unmarried girl.

So The Limes actually represented a huge step forward, compared with that outrage.

The building also turned up when I was editing Swindon Heritage magazine and my cousin, Clive Carter, wrote a fascinating potted history of local farms. That revealed that The Limes was once the farmhouse of Evans Farm, and for a time was known as The Manse (a house provided to a church minister).

And its next chapter should see The Limes become a desirable private residence once again.

Which is a pretty good turnaround for a Naughty Boys’ Home.