One of the reason that we don’t like Swindon much is it doesn’t have much character or history or culture. Or so we thought!
We were eating out the other night and ended up – for what reason I can’t remember – looking up Swindon on Wikipaedia. Turns out it has some quite impressive claims as a town!
Swindon has a few “firsts”:
- Of course the Magic Roundabout was the first and, as far as I know, still is the only “multi-mini” roundabout!
- The first recorded railway refreshment rooms
- The UK’s first lending library
It holds some records:
- More people have joined the Hare Krishna movement in Swindon than in any other English town.
- In May 2007 Swindon had the highest percentage of households with broadband internet access.
And it has some claims on being the perfect town:
- The health system set up at the railway works was used as a blueprint for the NHS.
- Apparently The Times recently listed Swindon as one of the top 20 places to buy a property in Britain.
- “Swindon is considered to be an almost exact microcosm of the whole United Kingdom in its demographic make-up”
- In 2007 an insurance company reported Swindon to be the second safest place to live in the UK!
However, despite all those amazing things, our feelings about the town are summed up in this little factoid:
The father of The Nice Family (a caricature of a strictly disciplined, dull family) in Channel 4’s “Absolutely” exclaims “By Swindon, this is an inspiring tale!” during a particularly boring presentation by a travelling salesman.
“By Swindon!” – now there’s an exclamation that I might have to adopt!!