A Swindon bar is in the finals of an award for the people’s favourite business - and the owner has explained why this might be.

Timmy’s Bar has become a local favourite after opening five years ago on Victoria Road and is now in Muddy Stilettos’ 2024 Wiltshire Muddy Awards.

The awards allow people to vote for their favourite businesses in the area, with one from each of 21 categories being crowned regional winner.

Owner Marilyn Fitzgerald said: “I was delighted to be in the last five. It is really good news and I am happy to be nominated.

Swindon Advertiser: Timmy's Bar, 93 Victoria Road

“I have got a lot of loyal customers, so I was hoping that it would happen.”

She explained: “I think it is because it is a little bit new, and its small and the decor is very ‘me’. It is what I like and it is a very boutique sort of bar.

“We try to keep it fairly European, and we just have a really eclectic mix of customers of all ages, so all are welcome.

“I play playlists that I have put together so there is a nice music vibe, but customers quite often request songs too.

“So it is quite a personalised sort of service I would say.”

For her, music plays an important role in the bar.

As well as numerous other ad hoc music events, she runs a popular vinyl DJ night every Wednesday, Waxy Wednesday.

Swindon Advertiser: Marilyn Fitzgerald with Tony Smith, who runs Waxy Wednesdays

The event is run by musician Tony Smith and allows people to bring and play their own records, becoming an established date for some music lovers who turn up regularly.

She remembered: “I always wanted to run my own business that would be inclusive and where I could maybe play music not heard in a lot of other bars.”

She named it after her father, and knows he would have liked the bar: “Oh god, he loved a pub.”

Pictures of horse racing adorn the walls in memory of her father’s equine interests.

The bar serves beers from Arkell's - and Guinness for her dad - and wines from Old Town’s Magnum, but does not try to compete with other cocktail bars.

Marilyn thanked her loyal customers for her place in the finals, and her ‘fantastic’ staff.

She concluded: “It would be amazing to win and have that accolade for Timmy’s after not really being in Old Town that long. It's been five years.

“It feels like a long time to work, but it's not that long really is it?”