BBC News – Honda’s Wind Turbine plan for Swindon Car Plant.

BBC News yesterday reported:

Car manufacturer Honda is planning to use wind turbines to power its plant in Swindon. Continue reading BBC News – Honda’s Wind Turbine plan for Swindon Car Plant.


Lottery helps Hammermans Legacy

On Monday, Swindon Advertiser ran the following article, about South Marston Poet, Alfred Williams:

A Swindon-based society formed only six months ago is celebrating a Lottery windfall.

The Alfred Williams Heritage Society has been awarded a £35,000 grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which it will use to make more people aware of the South Marston-born writer, who died in 1930.

Chairman Dr John Cullimore, a consultant surgeon at the Great Western Hospital, founded the Society last September, along with Caroline Ockwell and Adver columnist Graham Carter.

“The three of us had never met before,” said John, “but we all find Alfred’s story an inspiration, and we decided to get together and spread the word to more local people.

“Despite a lifetime of poverty and having to write in his precious spare time, Alfred’s work was often reviewed in The Times and was known to three prime ministers.

“He wrote six books of poetry and some beautifully descriptive books about the area, including Life in a Railway Factory, which was about his experiences as a hammerman in Swindon’s GWR Works.

“He was one of us, and a true local hero, yet today he’s largely forgotten in Swindon.

“We want to show people that sometimes you don’t need to look as far afield as you might expect in order to find inspiration.”

John wrote and recorded a ‘rock opera’ CD based on Williams’s life in 2008, called The Hammerman, and this will form the basis for a musical presentation at the two-day Alfred Williams Festival on November 12-13, which will also involve other local history groups.

The grant will finance a part-time project co-ordinator for a full year, but there will be money left over to mount a permanent exhibit about Williams, which will go on display locally.

The Society will also use the grant to produce educational material and organise activities for local schoolchildren, and they plan to set up a link between schools in South Marston and northern India, where Williams served during the First World War.

They also have an ongoing project to make all of Williams’s works available online, including previously unpublished books.

Nerys Watts, the HLF’s Head of Region, said: “In addition to its literary merit, the work of Alfred Williams provides an important record of the social history of the Swindon area of the early 20th Century and of the labour movement in Great Britain.

“Through a range of original and exciting activities, this project will provide the opportunity for local people, including young people, to better understand and appreciate an inspiring figure from a key period in their past.

“We are delighted to be able to support this project and hope that it will encourage other people in the Swindon area to explore their heritage and to approach us for funding support and advice.”

The Society’s first event will be a Folksong Evening, which will take place at the King and Queen, Longcot, on Tuesday, April 20, reflecting another of Williams’s legacies – the lyrics to hundreds of English folk songs that he collected on his travels around the area.

“We have received tremendous support from people who already knew of Alfred and his achievements,” said John Cullimore, “including Mike Pringle of the Swindon Cultural Partnership, whose help has been invaluable.

“Now we can get the message across to everybody else in Swindon about the local hero they didn’t know they had.”

For more information about the Society, the Folksong Evening and the vacancy for a project co-ordinator, see

How many South Marston businesses do you use?

Would you like a directory of  everyone who lives or works in a small business in South Marston?

Please e-mail me or add a comment below.

Since I have started thinking of setting up my business, over two years ago, I have been seeking out local businesses and switching to their services with the words “support local” ringing in my ears.

I have used and would highly recommend every one of the following:

  • Beauty Treatments – Rae-Marie Bowdidge, Raediance
  • B&B accommodation – Georgina Kirby, Village Apartments
  • B&B accommodation – Jackie Sansum, The Old Post Office
  • Book Keeping and Credit Control – Many Larcombe
  • Gifts and Bath Products – Amanda Burchell, Aquileia
  • Home maintenance – Brian Bell
  • Independent Financial Advice – Sarah Watch, EFP
  • Marketing Mentoring – Carolyn and Donald Page, Colporteur
  • Preschool – South Marston Preschool
  • Preschool and Childcare – White Cottage
  • School – South Marston Primary School
  • Swimming pool and Coffee Shop – South Marston Hotel
  • Taxi – Martin

Of course this list wouldn’t be complete without our babysitters Sam, Dan, Ellie and Martha

or all the services I use in Highworth and our surrounding villages of which my favourite are: Andrews the Butchers, Greengrocers Chris and Heather, Read Landscaping, Westrop Surgery, Highworth Dental Practice, Roves Farm, KendellBell …

WOW, by my calculation I am using the services of a talented individual in almost every road in our village: Rawlings Close, Greenfields, Thornhill Road, Highworth Road, Byron Court, Church Farm Lane, Ash Gardens, Church Ground, Chapel Lane and Quarrybrook Close.
What a talented bunch we are 😀
Support Local!

If you would like a Business Directory of South Marston or know of other businesses I haven’t listed above please e-mail me or add a comment below.

Many thanks

Hannah Jones

Conservation site

Thanks to all the volunteers that worked hard on the site on Saturday 20th March. We were fortunate that the rain held off for us to carry out the final clearance work. The site is now ready for the community to develop the site. The children enjoyed helping to plant snowdrops and natural barberry on the bank together with spindle, wayfaring and hawthorn hedging trees to fill the gaps in the road side hedge.

The photographs indicate some of our activities.

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Borough Council and Parish Council Elections

An Election of Borough Councillors will take place on Thursday 6th May and will include an election for the Blunsdon Ward which covers South Marston. (See formal notice)

Notice of Election of Parish CouncillorsAn election of  Councillors for South Marston Parish Council will also take place on Thursday 6th May (see formal notice). Continue reading Borough Council and Parish Council Elections

Thames water completes £10M Flood Alleviation scheme

Swindon Advertiser today reported that:

AFTER thousands of phone calls, hundreds of letters and 14 floods, Linda Brown and her neighbours can now be all but assured their homes will never be deluged with waste water again.

Their quiet confidence comes after Thames Water’s announcement that the £10m flood alleviation works which began in earnest in April 2009 is now officially complete. Continue reading Thames water completes £10M Flood Alleviation scheme