Not a town I would usually chose to visit, but we went out in Swindon the other day and I was pleasantly surprised by the wide range of people, attractions and businesses there. For example both the Nationwide Building Society (or are they a bank now, I’m never sure these days) and the IT giant Intel, both have their UK headquarters in the town.
Swindon is just off the M4 in Wiltshire and despite being seen as a new town, it’s actually very old, it was even mentioned as far back as the doomsday book, along with many other towns in the area such as Marlborough. The age of the town can be seen as soon as you step away from the main town centre where you will find the usual range of high street brands, hair dressers and solicitors offices, but there are numerous old buildings there too, many of which are around the oldtown area.
Of course if you are a football fan, you will probably be aware of Swindon FC, who are doing fairly well at the moment, although I won’t say any more than that, as I must admit to knowing virtually nothing about the game!
The magic roundabout is possibly the most ridiculous bit of road design in the country, possibly all of Europe, it consists of a central point with five mini roundabouts around it, so if you want to get from one side across to the other, you have no choice but to navigate 3 of them to make it over, it looks comical, but believe me, when you approach it on a busy day it’s very confusing! I didn’t see any, but would imagine there are a lot of accidents there, probably only little bumps as everyone is moving so slowly.
On the way out I could see this chap in what looked like a space suit at first, but as I got closer I realised that it was a beekeeping suit. He was up a ladder with an old fashioned skep under one arm and was poking around with a big round mass of bees, I’m guessing he was a bee swarm collector rescuing a stray swarm of honeybees. I pulled over for a few minutes to watch, but it looked like he would be there for a while so drove off again.
So in addition to all this I actually made a few new business contacts too, one was a solicitor based in Swindon and another was involved with the local council, not road planning I hasten to add 😉 So all in all I have come away with a rather unexpectedly pleasant opinion on the town.