Friday, 31 July 2009

Ken White's 'Golden Bridge' wall painting

First painted in 1976 by Ken White to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Alfred Williams in 1877 - to learn more about Alfred Williams, one of Swindon's best kept secrets, see link below:

Recently as the bus I was travelling on swung around the Fleming Way roundabout I noticed a white haired man on a scaffold quietly re-painting his original wall painting which has achieved some fame. It was of course Swindon's own Ken White who, like Alfred Williams author of Life in a Railway Factory, brilliantly portrayed life in the Railway Works through his paintings.
Ken started painting wall murals back in the 1970s though sadly most of them have now disappeared. This one remains on the end terrace of Medgebury Road (by Fleming Way) remains. Fleming Way is built on the route of Swindon's old canal.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Swindon's lost stone circle (continued)

The plot thickens ... I have been intrigued for some some by a cluster of large sandstones at the top of Grosvenor Road on the edge of Old Town. I first noticed the lozenge shaped stone positioned on its side outside a small block of flats. Later, I spotted a similar shaped stone making up part of a garden wall on the other side of the road. When I looked in the garden there were several large sandstones in the garden ... appearing to have been in place long before the garden. Yesterday, by chance, I had a little wander behind the flats and found several large stones, many of them buried, again similar in shape to the lozenge stone standing on its side on the grass verge.
These stones are too large, too regular in size and shape to have just been excavated when building took place. I can't help wondering if some sort of ancient stone site had existed here in
time gone by, having been pushed over before people became fully aware of their significance.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Twilight by the old canal

A hot July day, too hot. This eveing it was a pleasure to go out for a balmy stroll along the old canal the bottom of Kingshill Road. So much to see in the crepuscular light - I looked across at a row of ducks lined up on the far bank (someone's back garden); a small brown deer was foraging under the willow. Peewees and other water fowl were roosting for the evening though the family of swans were still up and about.
A man came along with his two dogs - as I walked alongside him for a few minutes he told me he was homeless and lived in a tent in a field on the land known as the Front Garden. He seemed content enough, however, as we talked about nature, his morning solitude waking up with just deer, foxes, rabbits and birdsong for company. We talked about the stream by his tent which is Swindon's own river Ray, and the misty moon which he said was currently its closest to the Earth. By now the light was fading so I said farewell and retraced my steps back along the canal path. A lone brown bird on a hedgerow branch sang out with clarity into the evening.