SWINDON — have you ever heard of it? In many parts of the world I can almost guarantee you will not have heard of it. It’s my home, it’s been my home and the base of my professional life since 1991. That’s 30 years. I was not born here.
Swindon is a great place to live and bring up a family. I say that as someone who was brought up very close to the world famous city of Bath — a city I love yet a city that is very hard to actually live in if you’ve not got a high income. Bath is hard to get around, it has major traffic issues, it’s expensive and its prices tend to rise at weekends due to the amount of tourists that visit. I’d take Swindon over Bath any day of the week as a place to live.
Swindon is not a beautiful place which is knocking on the door of world heritage status, it could be however the will is not there to make it so. It is not a city though it is trying to be — usually very badly.
It is not huge and has a population of around 190,000. It is part of Wiltshire which is incredibly beautiful and is home to places like Stonehenge (bet you’ve heard of that) and Avebury (you may have heard of that) and the city of Salisbury (inspiration for The Spire by William Golding and other literary works and more recently the scene of the awful Novichok poisonings).
Often even those who live in Wiltshire will talk Swindon down and that always makes me laugh because our town is the economic heartbeat of the county and indeed a top economic hub of the South West of the UK.
When people focus on all the things that Swindon is not, they miss all the things that Swindon can offer. Even my children who have started to live in other places are now beginning to see how much Swindon has to offer. Here are just a few:
- Every facility and business you can possibly think of within easy reach.
- A vibrant cultural and diverse community which reflects all parts of society.
- A wonderfully engaged business and charity community offering support to those in need.
- Two lovely country parks which are open to the public.