Hello to anyone out there.

This is my new blog for the Adver and I’d like to introduce myself.

I’m a Swindon boy who was brought up in Rodbourne and went to Even Swindon, Westbourne (long demolished) and Commonweal schools.

I spent time at the British Rail apprentice school in Dean Street (gone), studied at Swindon College (North Star, as well as the strangely vilified Regent Circus building, that is now gone) and started a career on Cheney Manor at what was once Plessey Semiconductors (gone).

I always considered myself an out-and-out champion of ‘the Borough’, as my Dad used to call it, although he used to call it that before the invention of the name Thamesdown. I can’t remember him using that description afterwards.

But in 1990 I upped and move to a small town on the fringes of the Adver readership, expecting to use my newly adopted community as a dormitory and commute into Swindon to work every day.

‘Out in the sticks’ was how I remember one estate agent describing our desired house move from Freshbrook 23 years ago.

No sooner was the house deal completed than my company in Swindon closed, I looked for my next employment opportunity, and found it closer to my new home than I expected.

Hence began a relationship with a new home-town that has now lasted for almost a quarter of a century.

Now I consider myself a Wiltshire boy more than a Swindonian. I’ve learned to love the Wiltshire countryside in a way that I don’t feel I ever would, had I remained in ‘the Borough’.

But I can’t ever divorce myself from my roots.

‘A foot in both camps’ is how I describe myself as I defend Swindon’s shortcomings to my colleagues and neighbours, and also as I explain a more rural Wiltshire life to a ‘townie’.

Here begins a ‘View from the Sticks’, which I hope will give a view of Swindon from someone whose heart will always encompass the town (particularly those two regions called ‘The County Ground’ and ‘The Past’), but who now has the experience to consider Swindon from a more distant perspective, both in terms of time and geography.