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Swindon
Swindon
(/ˈswɪndən/ ( listen)) is a large town in the ceremonial county of Wiltshire, South West England, midway between Bristol, 35 miles (56 kilometres) to the west, and Reading, the same distance to the east. London
London
is 71 miles (114 km) to the east, and Cardiff
Cardiff
is 60 miles (97 km) to the west. At the 2011 census, Swindon's built-up area had a population of 182,441.[1] Swindon
Swindon
became an Expanded Town under the Town Development Act 1952 and this led to a major increase in its population.[2] Swindon
Swindon
railway station is on the line from London
London
Paddington to Bristol. Swindon Borough Council is a unitary authority, independent of Wiltshire Council since 1997. Residents of Swindon
Swindon
are known as Swindonians. Swindon
Swindon
is home to the Bodleian Library's book depository, which contains 153 miles (246 km) of bookshelves[3] and also has the English Heritage
English Heritage
National Monument Record Centre and the headquarters of the National Trust, on the site of the former Great Western Railway works. The town and wider borough also has the headquarters of the Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide Building Society
and a Honda car manufacturing plant.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early history 1.2 Railway town 1.3 Modern period

2 Governance 3 Geography

3.1 Climate

4 Demographics

4.1 Places of worship 4.2 Polish community

5 Economy 6 Transport 7 Tourism and recreation

7.1 Events 7.2 Arts venues 7.3 Shopping 7.4 Green spaces 7.5 Other

8 Media

8.1 Online 8.2 Print 8.3 Radio 8.4 Television

9 Education

9.1 Secondary schools 9.2 Further education 9.3 Higher education

10 Museums and cultural institutions 11 Sports

11.1 Football 11.2 Ice hockey 11.3 Motor sports

12 In popular culture 13 See also 14 References 15 Further reading 16 External links

History[edit]

The Wilts and Berks Canal
Wilts and Berks Canal
near Rushey Platt

Main article: History of Swindon Early history[edit] The original Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
settlement of Swindon
Swindon
sat in a defensible position atop a limestone hill. It is referred to in the Domesday Book as Suindune, believed to be derived from the Old English words "swine" and "dun" meaning "pig hill" or possibly Sweyn's hill, where Sweyn is a personal name. Before the Battle of Hastings
Battle of Hastings
the Swindon
Swindon
estate was owned by an Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
thane called Leofgeat.[4] After the Norman Conquest Swindon
Swindon
was given to Wadard, a knight in the service of Odo of Bayeux, brother of the king.[5] Swindon
Swindon
was a small market town, mainly for barter trade, until roughly 1848. This original market area is on top of the hill in central Swindon, now known as Old Town.[6] The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
was responsible for an acceleration of Swindon's growth. It started with the construction of the Wilts and Berks Canal
Canal
in 1810 and the North Wilts Canal
North Wilts Canal
in 1819. The canals brought trade to the area and Swindon's population started to grow. Railway town[edit]

Swindon
Swindon
Community Centre - Railway Village

Between 1841 and 1842, Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Swindon Works
Swindon Works
was built for the repair and maintenance of locomotives on the Great Western Railway (GWR). The GWR built a small railway village to house some of its workers. The Steam Railway Museum and English Heritage, including the English Heritage
English Heritage
Archive, now occupy part of the old works. In the village were the GWR Medical Fund Clinic at Park House and its hospital, both on Faringdon Road, and the 1892 health centre in Milton Road – which housed clinics, a pharmacy, laundries, baths, Turkish baths and swimming pools – was almost opposite. From 1871, GWR workers had a small amount deducted from their weekly pay and put into a healthcare fund – its doctors could prescribe them or their family members free medicines or send them for medical treatment. In 1878 the fund began providing artificial limbs made by craftsmen from the carriage and wagon works, and nine years later opened its first dental surgery. In his first few months in post the dentist extracted more than 2,000 teeth. From the opening in 1892 of the health centre, a doctor could also prescribe a haircut or even a bath. The cradle-to-grave extent of this service was later used as a blueprint for the NHS.[7] The Mechanics' Institute, formed in 1844, moved into a building looking rather like a church and included a covered market, on 1 May 1855. The New Swindon
Swindon
Improvement Company, a co-operative, raised the funds for this path self-improvement and paid the GWR £40 a year for its new home on a site at the heart of the railway village. It was a groundbreaking organisation that transformed the railway's workforce into some of the country's best-educated manual workers.[8] It had the UK's first lending library,[9] and a range of improving lectures, access to a theatre and a range of activities from ambulance classes to xylophone lessons. A former institute secretary formed the New Swindon
Swindon
Co-operative
Co-operative
Society in 1853 which, after a schism in the society's membership, spawned the New Swindon
Swindon
Industrial Society that ran a retail business from a stall in the market at the Institute. The institute also nurtured pioneering trades unionists and encouraged local democracy.[10] When tuberculosis hit the new town, the Mechanics' Institute persuaded the industrial pioneers of North Wiltshire
Wiltshire
to agree that the railway's former employees should continue to receive medical attention from the doctors of GWR Medical Society Fund, which the institute had played a role in establishing and funding.[11] Swindon's 'other' railway, the Swindon, Marlborough and Andover Railway, merged with the Swindon and Cheltenham Extension Railway
Swindon and Cheltenham Extension Railway
to form the Midland & South Western Junction Railway, which set out to join the London
London
& South Western Railway with the Midland Railway at Cheltenham. The Swindon, Marlborough & Andover had planned to tunnel under the hill on which Swindon's Old Town stands but the money ran out and the railway ran into Swindon
Swindon
Town railway station, off Devizes
Devizes
Road in the Old Town, skirting the new town to the west, intersecting with the GWR at Rushey Platt and heading north for Cirencester, Cheltenham
Cheltenham
and the LMS, whose 'Midland Red' livery the M&SWJR adopted. During the second half of the 19th century, Swindon
Swindon
New Town grew around the main line between London
London
and Bristol. In 1900, the original market town, Old Swindon, merged with its new neighbour at the bottom of the hill to become a single town.[6] On 1 July 1923, the GWR took over the largely single-track M&SWJR and the line northwards from Swindon
Swindon
Town was diverted to Swindon Junction station, leaving the Town station with only the line south to Andover and Salisbury.[12][13][14] The last passenger trains on what had been the SM&A ran on 10 September 1961, 80 years after the railway's first stretch opened. During the first half of the 20th century, the railway works was the town's largest employer and one of the biggest in the country, employing more than 14,500 workers. Alfred Williams[15] (1877–1930) wrote about his life as a hammerman at the works.[16] The works' decline started in 1960, when it rolled out Evening Star, the last steam engine to be built in the UK.[17] The works lost its locomotive building role and took on rolling stock maintenance for British Rail. In the late 1970s, much of the works closed and the rest followed in 1986. The community centre in the railway village was originally the barrack accommodation for railway employees of the GWR. The building became the Railway Museum in the 1960s, until the opening of the STEAM Museum in the 2000s. Railway Town is the name of a feature-length documentary made by local filmmaker Martin Parry about the creation of the town around the railway works. Modern period[edit]

Swindon
Swindon
in 1933

Swindon
Swindon
in 1959. Grid squares are 1km.

David Murray John, Swindon's town clerk from 1938 to 1974, is seen as a pioneering figure in Swindon's post-war regeneration; his last act before retirement was to sign the contract for Swindon's tallest building, which is now named after him.[18] His successor was David Maxwell Kent, appointed by the Swindon/ Highworth
Highworth
Joint Committee in 1973; he had worked closely with Murray John and continued similar policies for a further twenty years. The Greater London
London
Council withdrew from the Town Development Agreement and the local council continued the development on its own. There was the problem of the Western Development and of Lydiard Park being in the new North Wiltshire
Wiltshire
district, but this was resolved by a boundary change to take in part of North Wiltshire. Another factor limiting local decision-taking was the continuing role of Wiltshire County Council in the administration of Swindon. Together with like-minded councils, a campaign was launched to bring an updated form of county borough status to Swindon. This was successful in 1997 with the formation of Swindon
Swindon
Borough Council, covering the area of the former Thamesdown and the former Highworth
Highworth
Rural District Council. The closure of the railway works (which had been in decline for many years) was a major blow to Swindon.[citation needed] Because of this and the major growth in population, diversification was continued at a rapid pace and the town now has all the features of a successful urban/rural council in the Outer South East zone. In February 2008 The Times
The Times
named Swindon
Swindon
as one of "The 20 best places to buy a property in Britain".[19] Only Warrington
Warrington
had a lower ratio of house prices to household income in 2007, with the average household income in Swindon
Swindon
among the highest in the country. In October 2008 Swindon
Swindon
made a controversial move to ban fixed point speed cameras. The move was branded as reckless by some[20] but by November 2008 Portsmouth, Walsall, and Birmingham
Birmingham
councils[21][22] were also considering the move. In 2001 construction began on Priory Vale, the third and final instalment in Swindon's 'Northern Expansion' project, which began with Abbey Meads and continued at St Andrew's Ridge. In 2002 the New Swindon
Swindon
Company was formed with the remit of regenerating the town centre, to improve Swindon's regional status.[23] The main areas targeted were Union Square, The Promenade, The Hub, Swindon
Swindon
Central, North Star Village, The Campus and the Public Realm. Governance[edit]

Swindon
Swindon
Town Hall, now a dance theatre

Further information: History of government in Swindon The local council was created in 1974 as the Borough of Thamesdown, out of the areas of Swindon
Swindon
Borough and Highworth
Highworth
Rural District. It was not initially called Swindon, because the borough covers a larger area than the town; it was renamed as the Borough of Swindon
Borough of Swindon
in 1997. The borough became a unitary authority on 1 April 1997,[24] following a review by the Local Government Commission for England. The town is therefore no longer under the auspices of Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Council. The borough consists of parished and non-parished areas. The non-parished areas include the former pre-1974 municipal borough of Swindon, and West Swindon
Swindon
which is a large expansion area developed from the 1970s to the 1990s with land ceded from North Wiltshire district in the parishes of Lydiard Tregoze
Lydiard Tregoze
and Lydiard Millicent.[25] Parished areas include Bishopstone (with Hinton Parva), Blunsdon
Blunsdon
St Andrew, Castle Eaton, Chiseldon, Covingham, Hannington, Haydon Wick, Highworth, Inglesham, Liddington, South Marston, Stanton Fitzwarren, Stratton St Margaret, Wanborough and Wroughton. In 2014 Nythe
Nythe
obtained independence from Stratton St Margaret, becoming a new parish in its own right with effect from 1 April 2015.[26][27] The executive comprises a leader and a cabinet, currently made up from the Conservative Group. The council as of the 2016 election has a majority of Conservative councillors.[28] Swindon
Swindon
is represented in the national parliament by two MPs. Robert Buckland (Conservative) was elected for the South Swindon
South Swindon
seat in May 2010 with a 5.5% swing from Labour and Justin Tomlinson, also Conservative, represents North Swindon
North Swindon
after a 10.1% swing at the same election. Both retained their seats at the 2015 and 2017 elections.[29] Prior to 1997 there was a single seat for Swindon, although much of what is now in Swindon
Swindon
was then part of the Devizes seat. Geography[edit] See also: List of places in Swindon Swindon
Swindon
is 35 miles west-northwest of Reading and 35 miles east-northeast of Bristol
Bristol
'as the crow flies'.[30][31] The landscape is dominated by the chalk hills of the Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Downs to the south and east. The Old Town stands on a hill of Purbeck and Portland stone; this was quarried from Roman times until the 1950s. The area that was known as New Swindon
Swindon
is made up of mostly Kimmeridge clay with outcrops of Corrallian clay in the areas of Penhill and Pinehurst. Oxford clay makes up the rest of the borough.[32] The River Ray rises at Wroughton
Wroughton
and forms much of the borough's western boundary, joining the Thames
Thames
which defines the northern boundary, and the source of which is located in nearby Kemble, Gloucestershire. The River Cole and its tributaries flow northeastward from the town and form the northeastern boundary.

Nearby towns: Chippenham, Royal Wootton Bassett, Cirencester, Cricklade, Devizes, Highworth, Marlborough, Malmesbury, Calne Nearby villages: Badbury, Blunsdon, Broad Hinton, Chiseldon, Hook, Liddington, Lydiard Millicent, Minety, Purton, South Marston, Wanborough, Wroughton Nearby places of interest: Avebury, Barbury Castle, Crofton Pumping Station, Lydiard Country Park, Silbury Hill, Stonehenge, Uffington White Horse Sites of Special Scientific Interest
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
in Swindon
Swindon
include Coate Water, Great Quarry, Haydon Meadow, Okus Quarry and Old Town Railway Cutting

Climate[edit] Swindon
Swindon
has a maritime climate type, like all of the British Isles, with comparatively mild winters and comparatively cool summers considering its latitude. The nearest official weather station is RAF Lyneham, about 10 miles (16 km) west south west of Swindon
Swindon
town centre. The weather station's elevation is 145 metres, compared to the typical 100 metres encountered around Swindon
Swindon
town centre, so is likely to be marginally cooler throughout the year. The absolute maximum is 34.9C (94.8F)[33] recorded during August 1990. In an average year the warmest day should reach 28.7C (83.7F)[34] and 10.3 days[35] should register a temperature of 25.1C (77.2F) or above The absolute minimum is −16.0C (3.0F),[36] recorded in January 1982, and in an average year 45.2 nights of air frost can be expected. Sunshine, at 1565 hours a year, is typical for inland parts of Southern England, although significantly higher than most areas further north. Annual rainfall averages slightly under 720 mm (28 in) per year, with 123 days reporting over 1 mm of rain.

Climate data for Lyneham, elevation 145m, 1971–2000, extremes 1960–

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 13.7 (56.7) 16.6 (61.9) 20.0 (68) 25.3 (77.5) 26.6 (79.9) 32.7 (90.9) 34.4 (93.9) 34.9 (94.8) 28.8 (83.8) 26.5 (79.7) 16.5 (61.7) 14.4 (57.9) 34.9 (94.8)

Average high °C (°F) 6.6 (43.9) 6.9 (44.4) 9.4 (48.9) 12.0 (53.6) 15.7 (60.3) 18.5 (65.3) 21.2 (70.2) 20.7 (69.3) 17.7 (63.9) 13.6 (56.5) 9.6 (49.3) 7.4 (45.3) 13.3 (55.9)

Average low °C (°F) 1.2 (34.2) 1.0 (33.8) 2.6 (36.7) 3.7 (38.7) 6.7 (44.1) 9.7 (49.5) 11.9 (53.4) 11.8 (53.2) 9.8 (49.6) 6.8 (44.2) 3.7 (38.7) 2.1 (35.8) 6.0 (42.8)

Record low °C (°F) −16 (3) −11.3 (11.7) −8 (18) −4.8 (23.4) −1.6 (29.1) 0.6 (33.1) 3.8 (38.8) 5.0 (41) 1.5 (34.7) −3.6 (25.5) −7.8 (18) −14 (7) −16 (3)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 70.1 (2.76) 50.6 (1.992) 58.3 (2.295) 47.7 (1.878) 51.8 (2.039) 58.5 (2.303) 47.2 (1.858) 56.1 (2.209) 63.9 (2.516) 70.4 (2.772) 66.9 (2.634) 77.4 (3.047) 719.0 (28.307)

Mean monthly sunshine hours 55.2 72.3 108.5 156.9 196.2 194.1 212.4 197.5 144.6 107.3 71.7 48.4 1,565

Source #1: Met Office[37]

Source #2: KNMI[38]

Demographics[edit]

Christ Church

The 2001 census[out of date] showed there were 180,061 people and 75,154 occupied houses in the Swindon
Swindon
Unitary Authority.[39] The average household size was 2.38 people. The population density was 780/km² (2020.19/mi²). 20.96% of the population were 0–15 years old, 72.80% 16–74 and the remaining 6.24% were 75 years old or over. For every 100 females there were 98.97 males. Approximately 300,000 people lived within 20 minutes of Swindon
Swindon
town centre. It is forecast that there will be a 70,000 (38.9%) increase in Swindon's population by 2026 from the current 180,000, to 250,000.[40][out of date] The majority of Swindonians (70.3%) identify themselves as Christians. This is followed by those of no religion (19.2%), Muslims
Muslims
(1.0%), Sikhs (0.6%), Hindus (0.6%), other (0.2%) and Judaism
Judaism
(0.1%). In addition, 8.0% of people chose not to answer this question in the 2001 census.[41] In May 2007[out of date], 65.3% of households in Swindon
Swindon
had broadband Internet access, the highest in the UK, up 5.5% from June 2006.[42] In 2015, Public Health England
England
found that 70.4% of the population was either overweight or obese with a BMI greater than 25.[43] In 2011, Swindon
Swindon
had a population of 182,441[44] compared with 209,156 for the surrounding borough.[45] The borough includes the town of Highworth
Highworth
and the large village of Wroughton. The population of the town increased from the 2001 census estimate of 155,700. In 2011, the area of the town was 46.2 km2 (28 miles squared) or 4,105 people per square kilometre (6357 per square mile).[citation needed]

Ethnic Groups 2011 Swindon
Swindon
Town[44] Borough of Swindon[45]

White British 83.3% 84.6%

Asian 7.0% 6.4%

Black 1.5% 1.4%

In 2011, 16.7% of the population of Swindon
Swindon
were non White British compared with 15.4% in the surrounding borough. There was also little difference between the percentages of Black and Asian residents. Swindon
Swindon
is one of the most ethnically diverse towns in South West England: 4.6% of the population registered themselves as 'Other White' and 2.5% of the population was either mixed race or of another ethnicity.[44] The most ethnically diverse areas outside the town centre are to the north and east, such as Eastcott, Walcot and Gorse Hill. There are three definitions of the town of Swindon
Swindon
for statistical purposes.[46] The most accurate and widely accepted is the Built Up Area Subdivision which had a population of 182,441 in 2011. Another definition is the Built Up Area, with a slightly higher population of 185,609 which includes outlying areas not often referred to as being part of the town, such as Wanborough. The final definition is the unparished area, with a population of 122,642. As its name suggests it reflects the former unparished area, now covered by the parishes of West Swindon, Central Swindon
Swindon
North and South, and Nythe, Eldene and Liden; thus it omits suburbs to the east and north, namely the parishes of Covingham, Stratton St Margaret
Stratton St Margaret
and Haydon Wick.[47] Places of worship[edit]

St Mark's Church (Church of England)

Christ Church (Church of England); it was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and built in 1851

There are numerous places of worship in Swindon, some of which are listed buildings.[48] Until 1845, the only church in Swindon
Swindon
was the Holy Rood Church, a Grade II listed building.[49] That year, St Mark's Church was built. In 1851, Christ Church was built. Later in the year, the first Roman Catholic chapel was opened in the city and was also named Holy Rood. In 1866, Cambria Baptist Chapel was built. In the 1880s, Bath Road Methodist Chapel was built. In 1885, St Barnabas Church was built. In 1907, St Augustine's Church in Even Swindon
Even Swindon
was built. Various churches and places of worship were built in the town by other denominations and faiths.[50] Polish community[edit] After the end of World War II, Polish refugees were temporarily housed in barracks at Fairford RAF base about 25 km (16 mi) north. Around 1950, some settled in Scotland and others in Swindon[51] rather than stay in the barracks or hostels they were offered.[52] The 2001 UK Census[out of date] found that most of the Polish-born people had stayed or returned after serving with British forces during World War II. Swindon
Swindon
and Nottingham were parts of this settlement.[53] Data from that census showed that 566 Swindonians were Poland-born.[54] Notes to those data read: ‘The Polish Resettlement Act of 1947, which was designed to provide help and support to people who wished to settle here, covered about 190,000 people ... at the time Britain did not recognise many of the professional [qualifications] gained overseas ... [but] many did find work after the war; some went down the mines, some worked on the land or in steel works. Housing was more of a problem and many Poles were forced to live in barracks previously used for POWs ... The first generation took pains to ensure that their children grew up with a strong sense of Polish identity.' In 2004[out of date], NHS planners devising services for senior citizens estimated that 5 percent of Swindon's population were not 'ethnically British'[55] and most of those were culturally Polish. The town's Polish ex-servicemen's club, which had run a football team for 45 years, closed in 2012. Barman Jerzy Trojan blamed the decline of both club and team on the children and grandchildren of the original refugees losing their Polish identity.[56] Economy[edit]

A Swindon-built locomotive (Hagley Hall) on display in the eating area of the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet, Swindon

Retail in the centre of Swindon

Major employers include the Honda car production plant at the former Vickers-Armstrongs
Vickers-Armstrongs
Supermarine
Supermarine
aircraft factory on the former South Marston aerodrome, BMW/ Mini
Mini
(formerly Pressed Steel Fisher) in Stratton, Dolby Labs, international engineering consultancy firm Halcrow, and retailer W H Smith's distribution centre and headquarters. The electronics company Intel
Intel
has its European head office on the south side of the town. Insurance and financial services companies such as Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide Building Society
and Zurich Financial Services, the energy companies RWE
RWE
Generation UK plc and Npower (a company of the Innogy
Innogy
group), the fuel card and fleet management company Arval, pharmaceutical companies such as Canada's Patheon
Patheon
and the United States-based Catalent Pharma Solutions and French medical supplies manufacturer Vygon (UK) Ltd have their UK divisions headquartered in the town. Swindon
Swindon
also has the head office of the National Trust. Other employers include all of the national Research Councils, the British Computer Society, TE Connectivity, consumer goods supplier Reckitt Benckiser, Software Test Labs, a dynamic test consultancy and managed testing services company and a branch of Becton Dickinson. The town is currently the location of the UK Space Agency headquarters. Transport[edit]

Swindon
Swindon
Magic Roundabout

Main article: Transport in Swindon At the junction of two Roman roads, the town has developed into a transport hub over the centuries. It is on the historical GWR and on canals. It also has two junctions (15 and 16) on the M4 motorway. Swindon railway station
Swindon railway station
opened in 1842 as Swindon
Swindon
Junction, and until 1895 every train stopped for at least 10 minutes to change locomotives. As a result, the station hosted the first recorded railway refreshment rooms.[57] Swindon
Swindon
bus operators are Thamesdown and Stagecoach. The local council acknowledges the need for more car parking as part of its vision for 2010.[out of date][58] Swindon
Swindon
is one of the locations for an innovative scheme called Car share. It was set up as a joint venture between Wiltshire
Wiltshire
County Council and a private organisation, and now has over 300,000 members registered. It is a car pool or ride-sharing rather than a car share scheme, seeking to link people willing to share transport. The town contains a large roundabout called Magic Roundabout. There are five mini-roundabouts within this roundabout and at its centre is a contra-rotational hub.[59] It is the junction of five roads: (clockwise from South) Drove Road, Fleming Way, County Road, Shrivenham Road and Queens Drive. It is built on the site of Swindon wharf on the abandoned Wilts & Berks Canal, near the County Ground. The official name used to be County Islands, although it was colloquially known as the Magic Roundabout
Roundabout
and the official name was changed in the late 1990s[citation needed] to match its nickname. Tourism and recreation[edit]

This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. You can help by converting this section to prose, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (December 2009)

Events[edit]

Swindon
Swindon
Mela in the Town Gardens

Annual events in Swindon
Swindon
include:

The Swindon
Swindon
Festival of Literature, held over two weeks in May. The Swindon
Swindon
Mela, an all-day celebration of South Indian arts and culture in the Town Gardens, which attracts up to 10,000 visitors each year.[60] The Children's Fete, a town-wide event in celebration of Swindon's children, community, culture and heritage, is usually held the first Saturday in July in the GWR Park on Faringdon Road, with 8,000 attending in 2016. The event was resurrected in 2002 by the Mechanics' Institution Trust, a Building Preservation and Development Trust seeking to restore the now derelict Mechanics' Institution and its associated social heritage, who have run the event almost every year since, with some years missed due to lack of funding. The event was started in 1866 by the then committee of the Mechanics' Institution. It ran every year until the Second World War and saw over 30,000 Swindonians attend in some years. The Summer Breeze Festival has been held annually in the town since 2007[61] with headliners ranging from Toploader[62] to KT Tunstall.[63] The family-friendly music event is run by volunteers on a non-profit basis with any funds raised going to charity. An annual Gay Pride Parade
Gay Pride Parade
called Swindon
Swindon
And Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Pride is held in the town. The parade has been held in the Town Gardens since 2007. Popular Swedish DJ Basshunter
Basshunter
performed in the 2012 celebrations which c.8,000 people attended.

Arts venues[edit]

Live music venues such as Baila Coffee & Vinyl, The Castle, The Beehive, Level III and The Victoria attract local acts as well as touring national acts. Collectively they host an annual music festival, the Swindon
Swindon
Shuffle.[64] The Oasis Leisure Centre
Oasis Leisure Centre
and the County Ground are used for some major events. MECA is a 2,000-capacity music venue in the former Mecca bingo hall. The Arts Centre is a theatre in Old Town which seats 200 and has music, professional and amateur theatre, comedians, films, children's events, and one-man shows. The Wyvern Theatre
Wyvern Theatre
has film, comedy, and music. In 2012 Swindon: The Opera was performed at the STEAM Museum in Swindon
Swindon
by the Janice Thompson Performance Trust,[65] after a successful 2011 Jubilee People's Millions Lottery bid. It charted Swindon's history since 1952 until the present day. Over twenty songs were written by Matt Fox, with music by internationally acclaimed composer Betty Roe MBE.

Shopping[edit]

McArthur Glen Designer Outlet, a shopping complex built within the disused Swindon
Swindon
railway engine works

The Brunel Centre and the Parade are shopping areas in the town centre, built along the line of the filled-in Wilts and Berks Canal (where a canal milepost can still be seen). Swindon
Swindon
Tented Market located in the Town Centre, close to the Brunel Centre, was built in 1994. It reopened in October 2009, having been closed for two years.[66] Regent Circus, which opened in 2015 on the site of the former Swindon College building. It contains a Morrison's superstore, along with a Cineworld cinema and several restaurants. Retail parks include Greenbridge (although not located within the township of Swindon
Swindon
but in the urban parish of Stratton St. Margaret, Mannington which is the location of a John Lewis at Home store, Bridgemead, West Swindon
Swindon
Shopping Centre and the Orbital Shopping Park in Haydon Wick
Haydon Wick
Parish McArthur Glen Designer Outlet is an indoor shopping mall for reduced price goods (mainly clothing), using the buildings of the disused railway engine works. The outlet is adjacent to the Steam Museum and the National Trust headquarters. The Swindon
Swindon
Designer Outlet has around 100 shops and is the biggest covered designer outlet centre in Europe. Craft shops within Studley Grange Craft Village, inside Blooms Garden Centre, just off junction 16 of the M4 motorway. Small specialist shops within BSS House in Cheney Manor Industrial Park and Basepoint Business Centre.

Green spaces[edit]

Public parks include Lydiard Country Park, The Lawns, Stanton Park, Barbury Castle, Queens Park, Town Gardens, Pembroke Gardens and Coate Water. Shaw Country Park currently being developed in West Swindon.

Other[edit]

The English Heritage
English Heritage
Archive is based in Swindon. The Science Museum has its large objects stored on the disused airfield at Wroughton
Wroughton
as well as housing the Museum's Library and Archives.

Media[edit] Online[edit] Swindon
Swindon
has many online media outlets with the largest being the Swindon
Swindon
Advertiser. SwindonWeb was the first website dedicated to Swindon
Swindon
in 1997 followed by SwindonLink with many other sites now available. Print[edit]

King George V pulling the 'Bristolian' passenger train at the Swindon Steam Railway Museum.

Swindon
Swindon
has a daily newspaper, the Swindon
Swindon
Advertiser, with daily circulation of about 4,000 with an estimated readership of 21,000. Other newspapers covering the area include Bristol's daily Western Daily Press and the Swindon
Swindon
Advertisers weekly, the Gazette and Herald; the Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Ocelot (a free listings magazine), Swindon
Swindon
Star, Hungry Monkeys (a comic), Stratton Outlook, Frequency (an arts and cultural magazine), Great Swindon
Swindon
Magazine, Swindon
Swindon
Business News, Swindon
Swindon
Link and Highworth
Highworth
Link. Radio[edit] Local radio stations include Sam FM and Heart Wiltshire
Wiltshire
in the commercial sector, with BBC Wiltshire
Wiltshire
as a publicly funded alternative. The town has its own 24-hour community radio station, Swindon
Swindon
105.5, which was given the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2014, the highest award which can be given to a voluntary group. Television[edit] The Swindon
Swindon
area is in the overlap between two transmission regions, for the Thames
Thames
valley and the West of England. ITV regional news programmes come from ITV News Meridian (with offices at Abingdon) and ITV West
ITV West
(Bristol). On BBC One
BBC One
the area is served by both South Today (from Oxford) and Points West
Points West
(Bristol). Between 1973 and 1982, the town had its own cable television channel called Swindon
Swindon
Viewpoint. This was a community television project run mainly by enthusiasts from studios in Victoria Hill, and later by Media Arts at the Town Hall Studios. It was followed by the more commercial Swindon's Local Channel, which included pay-per-view films.[67] NTL (later Virgin Media) took over the channel's parent company, ComTel, and closed the station. Education[edit] The borough of Swindon
Swindon
has many primary schools, 12 secondary schools and two purpose built sixth-form colleges. Two secondary schools also have sixth forms. There is one independent school, Maranatha Christian School at Sevenhampton. Secondary schools[edit]

Abbey Park School Commonweal School The Dorcan Academy Highworth
Highworth
Warneford School Kingsdown School Lawn Manor Academy Lydiard Park
Lydiard Park
Academy Nova Hreod Academy The Ridgeway School & Sixth Form College St. Joseph's Catholic College Swindon
Swindon
Academy UTC Swindon
Swindon
(from age 14)

Further education[edit] New College and Swindon
Swindon
College cater for the town's further education and higher education requirements, mainly for 16- to 21-year-olds. Swindon
Swindon
College is one of the largest FE-HE colleges in southwestern England, situated at a purpose-built campus in North Star, Swindon. Swindon
Swindon
also has a foundation learning programme called Include, which is situated in the Gorse Hill area. This is for 16- to 19-year-olds who are currently not in education or work. Higher education[edit] Swindon
Swindon
is the UK's largest centre of population without its own university (by comparison, there are two universities in nearby Bath, which is half Swindon's size). In March 2008, a proposal was made by former Swindon
Swindon
MP, Anne Snelgrove, for a university-level institution to be established in the town within a decade, culminating in a future 'University of Swindon' (with some touting the future institution to be entitled 'The Murray John University, Swindon', after the town's most distinguished post-war civic leader). In October 2008, plans were announced for a possible University of Swindon
Swindon
campus to be built in east Swindon
Swindon
to the south of the town's Great Western Hospital, close to the M4-A419 interchange. However, these plans are currently mothballed. Oxford Brookes University
Oxford Brookes University
has had a campus in Swindon
Swindon
since 1999. The campus offers degrees in Adult Nursing and Operating Department Practice (ODP).[68] The Joel Joffe Building[69] opened in August 2016 and was officially opened[70] in February 2017 by Lord Joel Joffe, a long-time Swindon
Swindon
resident and former human rights lawyer. From 1999 to 2016 the Ferndale Campus was based in north-central Swindon. The main OBU campus is about 27 miles (43 km) northeast of Swindon. The university also sponsors UTC Swindon, which opened in 2014 for students aged 14–19. Between 2000 and 2008 the University of Bath
University of Bath
had a campus in Walcot, east Swindon. Museums and cultural institutions[edit]

This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. You can help by converting this section to prose, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (December 2009)

National Museum of Science & Industry, Wroughton. Richard Jefferies Museum, dedicated to the memory of one of England's most individual writers on nature and the countryside. Steam Railway Museum. Swindon
Swindon
Collection, Central Library. Extensive local studies and family history archive. Swindon
Swindon
Arts Centre, a 212-seat entertainment venue in the Old Town. Wyvern Theatre, the town's principal stage venue.[citation needed] Swindon
Swindon
Museum and Swindon
Swindon
Art Gallery, next to each other. The Museum of Computing the first computer museum in the UK.

Sports[edit]

The Stratton Bank

Football[edit] Swindon
Swindon
Town F.C. play at the County Ground near the town centre. They have been Football League
Football League
members since joining the then-new Third Division (southern section) in 1920, and won promotion to the Second Division for the first time in 1963. They won their only major trophy to date, the Football League
Football League
Cup, in 1969 beating Arsenal 3-1, and won the Anglo-Italian Cup the following year as the Football Association forbade Swindon
Swindon
from competing in the European Cup because they were in Division 3. They won promotion to the First Division in 1990, but stayed in the Second Division due to financial irregularities, and reached the top flight (by then the Premier League) three years later. Their spell in the top flight lasted just one season, and then came a second successive relegation. A brief recovery saw them promoted at the first attempt as champions of the new Division Two, but they were relegated again four years later and in 2006 fell back into the fourth tier for the first time since 1986, although promotion was gained at the first attempt. They were relegated again four years later. Under the charismatic reign of manager Paolo Di Canio, Swindon
Swindon
became League Two champions in 2011–12 and played in League One, the third-highest tier until the season of 2016–17, when they were relegated to League Two after losing their penultimate game against Scunthorpe 2–1. The town also has a non-league club Swindon
Swindon
Supermarine
Supermarine
F.C., playing in Southern League Division One South and West. Nearby Highworth
Highworth
Town F.C., based in Highworth, play in the Hellenic Football League. Ice hockey[edit] The Swindon
Swindon
Wildcats play in the second-tier English Premier Ice Hockey League. Since their inception in 1986, the Wildcats have played their home games at the 2,800-capacity Link Centre
Link Centre
in West Swindon. Motor sports[edit] Swindon
Swindon
Robins are a speedway team competing in the top national division, the SGB Premiership. The team has operated at the Abbey Stadium, Blunsdon
Blunsdon
since 1949. There was a speedway track in the Gorse Hill area of Swindon
Swindon
in the early days of the sport in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Foxhill motocross circuit is 6 miles (9.7 km) south east of the town and has staged Grand Prix events. In popular culture[edit]

The 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
is set in Swindon. Thursday Next, a character in Jasper Fforde's novels, was born in Swindon. Post-punk band XTC
XTC
was formed in Swindon
Swindon
in 1972. Three of the band's singles reached the UK top 20 and they gained a cult following.[71]

See also[edit]

Swindon
Swindon
Civic Trust List of twin towns in the United Kingdom List of people from Swindon Healthcare in Wiltshire

References[edit]

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Swindon
(Swindon, South West England, United Kingdom) – Population Statistics". citypopulation.de.  ^ Great Britain Historical GIS Project. "Swindon: Total Population". A Vision of Britain through time. Retrieved 9 January 2007.  ^ "Vast bookstore opens as famed library runs out of space". BBC News. 6 October 2010.  ^ Wadard and Vital. ^ "Wadard and Vital - 1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry". erenow.com.  ^ a b John Chandler, Swindon
Swindon
Decoded, The Hobnob Press 2005, ISBN 0-946418-37-3. ^ ‘’Background’’ – The Mechanics Institution Trust, Swindon. Retrieved on 23 July 2007. Reference updated 12 December 2013 ^ 1850-1870 – The Mechanics Institution Trust, Swindon. Retrieved on 23 July 2007. Reference updated 12 December 2013 ^ Background – The Mechanics Institution Trust, Swindon. Retrieved on 23 July 2007. Reference updated 12 December 2013 ^ This is Our Heritage — 1996 lecture by Swindon
Swindon
labour movement historian Trevor Cockbill. Retrieved on 23 July 2007. Reference updated 12 December 2013 ^ Background – The Mechanics Institution Trust, Swindon. Retrieved 23 July 2007. Reference updated 12 December 2013 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2007. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ Swindon's Other Railway — the Swindon, Marlborough & Andover Railway Archived 19 June 2002 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 23 July 2007. ^ The Midland & South Western Junction Railway, Railspot Reloaded Archived 24 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine..Retrieved on 23 July 2007. ^ GWR Museum picture gallery Archived 28 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 23 July 2007 ^ Leonard Clark, Alfred Williams – His Life and Work, David and Charles 1969 ^ Alfred Williams, Life in a railway factory, first published 1915, 2007 edition published by Sutton Publishing ISBN 978-0-7509-4660-5 ^ Evening Star — Steam Locomotive, BBC, 29 November 2006. Retrieved on 21 July 2007. ^ "SwindonWeb – Brunel Tower David Murray John". swindonweb.com. Retrieved 27 March 2012.  ^ The 20 best places to buy a property in Britain, The Times, Property pages, February 2008 ^ More councils expected to ban speed cameras, The Times, October 2008 ^ [1] Archived 18 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Weaver, Matthew (23 October 2008). "More councils expected to ban speed cameras". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 May 2010.  ^ New Swindon. ^ "The Wiltshire
Wiltshire
(Borough of Thamesdown)(Structural Change) Order 1995". Opsi.gov.uk. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  ^ "Lydiard Millicent". Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Community History. Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Council. Retrieved 4 January 2016.  ^ "Community Governance Review" (PDF). Swindon
Swindon
Borough Council. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2015.  ^ "Agenda - Nythe
Nythe
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Swindon
Borough Council. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.  ^ "Gallery: Conservatives hold council but Labour make gains". Swindon Advertiser. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2018.  ^ Humphreys, Chris (9 June 2017). "Town stays blue but it's tight in south". Swindon
Swindon
Advertiser. Retrieved 4 February 2018.  ^ https://distancecalculator.globefeed.com/UK_Distance_Result.asp?fromplace=Swindon%2C%20UK&toplace=Bristol%2C%20UK&dt1=ChIJ5eTbPU9EcUgRmpTF6Te_VqU&dt2=ChIJYdizgWaDcUgRH9eaSy6y5I4 ^ https://distancecalculator.globefeed.com/UK_Distance_Result.asp?fromplace=Swindon%2C%20UK&toplace=Reading%2C%20UK&dt1=ChIJ5eTbPU9EcUgRmpTF6Te_VqU&dt2=ChIJtz092XggdEgRlHn6zn-f4So ^ Crittall, Elizabeth; Rogers, Kenneth; Shrimpton, Colin (1983). "Geology". A history of Swindon
Swindon
to 1965. Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Library & Museum Service. ISBN 0-86080-107-1.  ^ "1990 August maximum". Retrieved 28 February 2011.  ^ "1971-00 Annual average warmest day". Retrieved 28 February 2011.  ^ "1971-00 >25c days". Retrieved 28 February 2011.  ^ "1982 minimum". Retrieved 28 February 2011.  ^ "Climate Normals 1971–2000". MetOffice. Retrieved 28 February 2011.  ^ "Climate Normals 1971–2000". KNMI. Retrieved 28 February 2011.  ^ " Swindon
Swindon
UA". Census 2001. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 9 January 2007.  ^ "Vision proposes 35,000 new homes". BBC News. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2007.  ^ "2011 Census". Statistics.gov.uk. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  ^ Swindon
Swindon
and Milton Keynes top the UK broadband league – Computer Weekly, London, 23 May 2007. Accessed:2007-08-21. ^ "Revealed: the fattest towns and cities in England". The Daily Telegraph. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2015.  ^ a b c UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – (1119885145)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics.  ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – (1946157355)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics.  ^ "City Population - Site Search". www.citypopulation.de.  ^ " Swindon
Swindon
(Unparished Area, United Kingdom) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map and Location". www.citypopulation.de.  ^ Swindon
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from British Listed Buildings, retrieved 9 January 2016 ^ Swindon: Churches in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 9 from British History Online (London: Victoria County History, 1970), 144-159. ^ Places of Worship from Total Swindon, retrieved 9 January 2016 ^ Community celebrates its golden anniversary, Swindon
Swindon
Advertiser, 31 May 2000 Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine..Retrieved on 23 July 2007. ^ Polish club closes doors for last time – Swindon
Swindon
Advertiser, 1 April 2007. Retrieved on 24 July 2007 ^ Born Abroad, BBC News.Retrieved on 23 July 2007. ^ – Polish Community Focus Multicultural Matters Archived 11 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine..Retrieved on 23 July 2007 ^ Modernising Services for Older People in Swindon– Avon & Wiltshire
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Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Swindon
Swindon
Primary Care Trust and Swindon Borough Council
Swindon Borough Council
Archived 6 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine..Retrieved on 24 July 2007. ^ Polish club closes doors for last time – Swindon
Swindon
Advertiser, 1 April 2007. Retrieved on 2007-27-24. ^ LTC Rolt, Isambard Kingdom Brumel, Penguin 1957. ^ "Car Parking – General Information". Transport & Streets. Swindon
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Borough Council. Archived from the original on 26 September 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2007.  ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps.  ^ Swindon
Swindon
Mela. ^ "Family fun at Summer Breeze festival". Swindon
Swindon
Advertiser. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2012.  ^ " Toploader
Toploader
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Swindon
Advertiser. 12 July 2012. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2012.  ^ Richard Craven (26 July 2007). " Swindon
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Swindon
Cable — Swindon
Swindon
View Point — The Local Channel, Swindoncable.co.uk. Retrieved on 21 July 2007. ^ " Swindon
Swindon
Campus - Oxford Brookes University". www.brookes.ac.uk.  ^ "Oxford Brookes opens its new campus in Swindon". Oxford Brookes University. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2018.  ^ Yilmaz, Tanya (3 February 2017). "New Oxford Brookes campus to officially open next week". Swindon
Swindon
Advertiser. Retrieved 10 January 2018.  ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. " XTC
XTC
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Further reading[edit]

Swindon, Mark Child, Breedon Books, 2002, hardcover, 159 pages, ISBN 1-85983-322-5 Francis Frith's Swindon
Swindon
Living Memories (Photographic Memories S.), Francis Frith and Brian Bridgeman, The Frith Book Company Ltd, 2003, Paperback, 96 pages, ISBN 1-85937-656-8

External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Swindon.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Swindon.

Swindon
Swindon
travel guide from Wikivoyage Swindon Borough Council
Swindon Borough Council
website SwindonWeb

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