Next week sees the launch of Swindon Heritage, an exciting new local history magazine all about Swindon. Contrary to Ricky Gervais and popular opinion, Swindon has, in fact, plenty of fascinating history and this new publication is set to reveal some surprises.
In the first issue you can read about the myths surrounding the magnificent Mechanics' Institution, a hub of intellectual enterprise established by innovative railway men in the nineteenth century. Today the dilapidated building, high on Swindon Borough Council's 'to do' list is a familiar sight, but what went on there will be a revelation to those new to the town.
Local farmer John Arkell went to Canada, founded a township and returned home to establish a brewery. Today Arkell's is Swindon's oldest surviving business and they will be hosting the official launch of Swindon Heritage.
This magazine, the first of its kind in not only Swindon, but the whole of the UK, is the brainchild of Mark Sutton. Military historian and author of 'Tell Them of Us,' local born Mark is quick to extol the history of his hometown and the many 'firsts' that have occurred here. Mark has been the driving force behind this new publication, importantly engaging local schools. In the first issue Commonweal pupil Frankie Wood writes a moving account about his trip to the First World War battlefields and cemeteries.
But if you want to know more you'll have to read Swindon Heritage. Advance copies from the limited first print run will be available on January 22, and the magazine will be on sale in local outlets in February. Subscriptions will be available through the website www.swindonheritage.co.uk, which goes live on January 21.
Arkell's Kingsdown Brewery