I’ve had a busy time recently and it’s been a while since I ‘Viewed from the Sticks’.

But during the ensuing time I have noticed the story about the possibility of demolishing Even Swindon School… or at least that’s what it used to be called when it was a seat of learning.

Most recently I’m sure it’s been a ‘community hub’ or some such thing, but the building is still there in Hughes Street, Rodbourne, and there has been a debate about whether it’s worthy of a refurbishment after a fire in February caused extensive damage.

I’m very firmly on the side of fixing it, even thought I’m equally of the conviction it won’t happen.

Even the biggest advocate of Rodbourne would never describe it as a pretty area, but it is a product of its time and is worth preserving.

The Railway Village consists of a series of small terrace houses with alleyways between, but its heritage was spotted and its preservation is often lauded as an indication that Swindon does have an eye on its architectural history after all.

Rodbourne performed exactly the same function as the Railway Village in housing railway workers but decades later, and as such is worthy of similar recognition. Red brick replaced Box stone, which might not appear as attractive, but then again today’s building materials include wooden frameworks with stone cladding on the outside.

Portakabins in other words.

In years to come people might marvel at the time and effort that was put into building a house properly when Rodbourne was constructed, instead of relying on the dubious method of nailing a few joists together and covering them up with plaster board and pretend stone.

And they will then realise why Even Swindon School lasted a hundred and fifty years, rather than fell apart after thirty like its replacement housing might.

This red brick school is an example of that era and its values. If it was still standing in a village somewhere, just like the loss of red phone boxes, there would be outrage that it couldn’t be used for a new purpose to preserve it, and finding the cost of doing so would be fiercely championed.

Swindon unfortunately has a reputation for taking a different view.

I went to Even Swindon and won my first (well just about my only actually) football trophy playing for the school team, so I have a vested interest in it. Especially since my other Rodbourne school, Westbourne (or Jennings Street depending on your age) was bulldozed years ago.

I can’t be sure whether the decision to repair it or knock it down has been made and has slipped my attention, but sadly I think I know what the outcome will be and Swindon will again be poorer for it.

I hope I am wrong.