THIS time last year Swindon was in the grip of a Banksy storm as people tried to figure out whether the renowned grafitti artist had visited the town.

The art, which appeared on the side of the abandoned Stagecoach building on Eastcott Road in Old Town showed a black and white image of a boy holding a sign that reads "Wild £ man on the run. Heading for Bristol. Dodge News."

Its similarity to some of Banky's had people flocking to the street to get their own pictures. 

Swindon Advertiser:

Thinking they might have something worth millions on their hands, the owners of the disused building, SN Developments, arranged for a private security van to guard it.

But the van left the scene at 6pm on March 10, allowing a rogue tagger to strike with purple graffiti.

The security around the suspected Banksy was then kept up for several weeks, with multiple cars seen to be blocking the art from public view.

Wiltshire Police even acknowledged they needed to take no action because the property owners had arranged their own private security.

But no word ever came from Banksy's Instagram account - where he normally confirms works are his own - and the mystery over who is responsible remains.

Swindon Advertiser:

The painting is still on the side of the Stagecoach bulding 12 months on and is mostly the same as it was - covered in a purple scrawl and patches of beige paint.

So while the newspaper carrying boy may not have been a Banksy, but it now remains a recognisable part of Swindon's street art.