The Adver ran a story this week that stated that four pubs had planning applications placed against them which, if successful, would turn each into a private home or a nursery.

I suppose that’s not surprising, what with so many public houses closing every week, but the difference between a Swindon pub and a country pub closing is that the town establishment is in walking distance of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people.

If they can’t achievable a sustainable business plan, what chance does a village pub, such as the Black Horse at Wanborough (and one of the four under threat) have, relying on people making the effort to drive there while not being able to sup the alcoholic wares after they arrive?

Having been brought up a Rodbourne boy some of my earlier drinking experiences were in The Ship… and it won’t be only me who will still refer to 12 Bar as that.

I considered The Falcon at Westcott Place also on my patch, but I was slightly puzzled about the location of another pub under threat called The Sandgate, until I realised that it was really the Lady Margaret.

In these desperate times I suppose pub owners might try anything to turn a profit, but what is it that makes them think they a change of name will be beneficial?

I’ve lost track of the names the current Tap and Barrel in Manchester Road has had. Wasn’t it the Eastcott Hotel in my formative drinking days? Did it have a period of being called The Gladstone Arms? And wasn’t there a time when it was known as something like Robins Nest?

It’s a similar story with The Fountain up Old Town. Or is it The Pig in the Cartoon now?

That suggests to me that every bright idea of a new name is ultimately proved as being non-effective and hence pointless, and only a matter of time before all possibilities are exhausted and it reverts back to its original name.

Then again I can relate one equally ludicrous exception.

I once realised that, at a frighteningly young age, I had visited every public house within the boundaries of Swindon except six, and resolved to remedy the situation.

One of those was in Fleet Street and called the Sir Daniel, and I ventured in one evening to see what I had missed.

Today there will be a generation, comprising of thousands of Swindonians, who think they know the pub I refer to. But they don’t.

Because they knocked down the pub called the Sir Daniel… and built a pub. And called it the Sir Daniel.

What’s that all about?

Still, at least the new Sir Dan was built. What Swindon seems best at, is knocking places down (the college, the police station, the Fleming Road Post Office), and taking years to rebuild the site, leaving it like a war time bomb site.

Like at the Bulldog!