Monday, December 24, 2007

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 34

Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10 . But he never admits to making those mistakes.

9 . If you saw what we saw, well, it'd be more fun than a Only Fools & Horses Christmas Special.

8 . It's not Christmas until Tuesday, does anyone apart from me actually know that?

7 . Why is everyone shopping like the end is nigh, the shops only shut for two days.

6 . This festive season I'm putting weight on for the whole family.

5 . People who actually eat mince pies are like those that support keeping the army in Iraq, each year there's less and less of them.

4 . If those carol singers turn up again you'll have to help me barricade the front door with the tree, that crate of beer and half a dozen tins of quality street.

3 . They're doing a 'let's find an Oliver for Oliver Twist' reality show next year, my new year's resolution is to burn my sky plus box.

2 . We didn't get a tree, I swear the neighbours looked at us like we had two heads.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1 . It's easy to spot the office tart, she's the one who dresses up in the 'sexy santa helper' outfit, like dental hygienists, they just lure men in, they must be stopped.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Get on the bus and get listening!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pagan & Wiccan Greetings On This Special Day

Since everyone seems to be either,

1. on a plane going somewhere warm


2. having a nervous breakdown in the shops

we would like to wish all those out there celebrating on today's solstice the very best of the Yule festival.

From now on the days get longer and Spring will begin to hint.

Swindon Centric Says ; Whether you be a pagan, wiccan, celtic, druid, or heathen, keep warm tonight by eating and toasting to the coming warmer months.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Reaches Record Levels ; Town Hall Swamped In Tinsel, Several Dead

Christmas tree safety, Christmas light displays, Christmas travel news, safe Christmas taxi travel, Christmas alcohol safety message, Christmas office party pictures, school Christmas play pictures, Christmas tree pictures, you get the picture.

Real news consisted of ;

1 . The increase in round-the-clock watching of the footage from the town's CCTV cameras.

2 . The reaction to the death of Wootton Bassett teenager Stewart Aitken.

3 . The visit of Lama Rinchen Phuntsok Rinpoche to the town, one of the highest ranking people in the Buddist religion.

Swindon Centric Says ; So there's the actually news separated from the festive tat.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Corked! Councillor Frightened Of Recycling ; Skips Meeting Due To Phobia

We may not be writing about Christmas, but we are on that current small-town staple ; recycling.

The Borough Council cabinet member for the environment cancelled a meeting, in which he would face questions about the new refuse and recycling service, at the last minute, because he wasn't prepared enough for it.

Other councillors said Mr David Wren was informed a month ago of the meeting and that his excuse is not acceptable. They also said most senior councillors have a good enough knowledge of their areas to be ready for a meeting at a day's notice.

Mr Wren defended himself by saying he wasn't informed until two days before and didn't have time to organise.

Councillor Des Moffat said that since he knew he would face a barrage of questions about the new service and the problems with it and that was the reason he didn't show up.

Swindon Centric Says ; Phobia of open space, confined space, spiders, flying, recycling boxes and wheelie bins, ehh?! Did we miss something?


News from the National Centre For Phobia Awareness is that the latest treatment for sufferers of Envirophobia is to hide in a traditional steel rubbish bin, covered by the lid, a la Top Cat. Mr Wren, we know what we're getting you for Christmas!

Do We Need A Scrooge To Sort Out The Recycling?

We promised to try and find news which isn't Christmas related for you. We might have failed in that, but you'll have to be the judge on that.

Since almost all households in Swindon gained a recycling collection along their refuse collection, we'd been led to believe the problems were behind us all.

Never say never in Swindon.

Not all plastic bags, for your plastic bottle collections, have been delivered to all households. Running two weeks late in distribution of the bags, (which is being carried out by a outside contractor) the words of Steve Harcourt, director of environment and health, are hardly urgent or reassuring. He said "They should have finished two weeks ago. Managers are coming to see me soon to see how they will complete the roll out before Christmas."

Since a director wouldn't be expected to work on weekends or around holidays, "soon" translates as tomorrow or Friday as the time left for the anonymous company to get on with it before Christmas.

Swindon Centric Says ; Is it just us, or does the quote from Mr Harcourt make him sound rather like Sergeant Wilson from Dad's Army, "would you mind awfully , just you know, if you wouldn't mind, delivering those bags chaps?"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If You Can Find A Non-Christmas Story, Tell Us

Despite Christmas being a week away and the festive season having started sometime in October, there still seems to be plenty of related non-news stories to be run.

We've had the 'less shopping this Christmas' story from the business community, the 'charity related Santa wearing runners story', the 'family encountered mild misfortune and can't afford to spend ten thousand pounds on children this year', so what else is left?

The staff here at Swindon Centric can safely predict within the next week :

1. A family having the exterior of their house decorated with more bulbs than RAF Lyneham's main runway.

2. Reminding all households to recycle their Christmas cards, despite nearly all being in possession of a recycling box, which accept paper and cardboard.

3. A man from Old Town who has personally grown all the food needed for his Christmas dinner organically, accompanied by a photograph of the still alive organically reared turkey in his back garden called Noel.

Swindon Centric Says ; In the remaining week before the usual festive madness on Monday and Tuesday we will try and find as much real news as we can.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 33

Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10 . Oh, I'm sorry.

9 . Depends how you define speaking English.

8 . He didn't say anything, not a word of it.

7 . She has more jeans than Levi.

6 . I got a reservation, how's that for service?

5 . In times of crisis, I turn to cottage pie.

4 . No, they're not my gloves.

3 . I can confirm, you really are an idiot.

2 . They've put mistletoe above the queue in the bank, I got away sadly unmolested.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is ...

1 . He said it had probably been lost in the post, everyone's using that excuse these days.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Get on the bus and get listening!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Library Threats Cause Contradictions From Councillors

The spin from local councillors on justification for possible closures of the Old Town and Walcot libraries is pretty shocking.

Councillor Tomlinson says Swindon is bucking the national trend of decline in usage. He then says he doesn't think the new distance to travel would really effect people. But in the next line, he says perhaps it would. So that contradiction is the reason for the consultation.

If you aren't confused yet, you probably will be when you read the following.

Councillor Fionuala Foley says "We have to look at services for the future."

Swindon Centric Says ; So, with a town that has an increase in library patronage, the council decide to review whether to keep some of them open. Then they spout speculation on what they think the results of the consultation might be. Then they justify the review by saying they are trying to plan for the future. Surely there are more people than ever before living in Old Town, with the explosion of flat building over the last few years? So, those people are going to pay council tax, to live in an area, that is going to provide them with less service?

Friday, December 14, 2007

'Story/Free Advertising' Poses As News, Again! ; Readers Fall Asleep

Either laziness of just poor standards seems to be more common at our town's only daily paper this month. When this story appeared, it had a thin vein of 'human interest' running through, but really wasn't hard 'news'.

So you can imagine our unsurprising reaction to this story in today's edition. Considering both stories are by the same reporter, you have to ask, do they have a connection to the car dealership, or is it just a case of blatant free advertising?

Swindon Centric Says ; If you're going to recycle a story, at least have the decency to make the photo different from the first and, you know have news in it too.

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 32

Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10 . What exactly is a figgie pudding?

9 . There's Mat, stick your finger up at him.

8 . People keep giving me sideways glances.

7 . There's a special place in hell for those people who play 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day'.

6 . Everyone's buying LED fairy lights, they're energy saving, you could just not put up any lights and save the planet that way.

5 . It's my record of the week.

4 . That kid needs a bloody good hiding for Christmas.

3 . People seem to forget about Sven, he was foreign.

2 . She said she had a festive bra, we all held back from asking if she had any puddings to put in it.

And the number one overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1 . They've already got Easter eggs set up, I nearly fainted into the chocolate coins.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Get on the bus and get listening!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

We Couldn't Make Up Today's News, Someone Else Already Did

We all know that news can sometimes be rather thin on the ground in Swindon, but if we had to make up a list of headlines of fake news for the town, we needed only look at the front page of the local paper.

As of 10pm Wednesday, the top stories were,

1 . Teenagers handing out mince pies to show people they aren't the roving evil, vandalising hoodies some stupidly think they are.

2 . The top Google search in Swindon is 'police'.

3 . A charity run of 80 santas.

4 . A Spanish school show.

5 . A couple decorating their wheelie bin.

Swindon Centric Says ; With a town of 155,432 and a Borough population of 184,000, we'd hoped to bring you some news, but there just isn't any today.


We're working on a story for tomorrow involving a Santa Claus dressed Spanish speaking teenage Community Support Officer handing out mince pies from a brightly painted wheelie bin. More details as we get them.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 31

Click here for the original and still the best at this brilliant idea, here's our own version for Swindon's buses from last week.

10 . Can't we give ourselves one more chance?

9 . No, they're still out on strike.

8 . One day they're getting told off for sending offensive emails, then they're getting praised for giving to charity.

7 . You can get cream for that now, I tried the pills, they are huge.

6 . We're a savvy breed, us last-minute shoppers.

5 . I learned a lot from the course, whoever thought hot stone massage could be so in depth.

4 . There's a right way and a wrong way to bake scones and her way is not just wrong, it's 'blindfolded and wrong'.

3 . How do I finish it off, I want to make it sound believable.

2 . That clock's usually slow, apart from the rare occasions it's fast.

And the top ten overheard phrase on Swindon's buses from last week is...

1 . No, I don't claim child benefit, so I'm laughing.

Overheard something we've missed? Then let us know.

Get on the bus and get listening!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bath Uni Leave Oakfield, Report Of Loofah Between Legs

Following the demands from the University Of Bath that it simply had to build on land at Coate Water, which was rejected, it is now leaving the town entirely.

The Oakfield campus, currently occupied by the UOB, is to close. It's claimed the site is simply not viable financially and Bath will therefore move out.

Swindon Centric Says ; This gives the University Of Bath's marketing department a chance to come up with a new brand. It's got location, location, location written all over it.

The University Of Bath, In Bath.

They can have it for free. We won't charge them for it. Call it a leaving present.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

M&S Sparks Contradiction In Town Centre Redevelopment

Marks & Spencer has decided to move into half of the building at Haydon Wick currently occupied by Homebase. The current Homebase store is to be divided in half, allowing M&S to a set up a 37,000 sq ft store.

This seems to go against the current policy of encouraging retailers into the town centre. It also goes against M&S's own environmental policy know as Plan A.

Swindon Centric Says ; Of course this save those who live in North Swindon having to drive as far. But apart from that, it's quite a bit of unsustainable duplication.

Convicted Fraudester Gets Free Advert By Local Paper

We won't comment further, except to apologise for the subtitles on the video, here it is.

Swindon Centric Says ; Is it in your stocking for Christmas? We'd rather read the back of a packet of Strepsils

Stable Doors Are Shut As Dairy Is Torn Down

The 100 year Stratton Old Dairy has been demolished to make way for a house and eight flats.

The councillor for St Philips, David Sammels, came out with lots of words after it had been torn down to say there had been confusion with the planning process and is trying to set up a meeting so that residents know what's happened with the process.

Swindon Centric Says ; Save them the money Mr Sammels and tell them all to look at the pile of rubble. That should tell you and them that the application was rather successful.

Councillors Put In For Overtime To Lower Stratton's Bills

It sounds like a bit of PR and it may well be.

People in Stratton, Covingham and Nythe pay an additional parish council tax on top of their Council Tax to Swindon Borough Council. But do not fear, local councillors are to look into exactly what the extra money is for. There are two worrying aspects to this.

Firstly, why is this investigation even needed? Surely a glance at the accounts book of the parish council will tell you how much is being spent where. Not really rocket science.

Secondly, there's a nagging feeling that after a couple of months of investigation, involving meetings, consultations, maybe even a 'task force', the parish council will say that there are no savings to be made. Because any excess has been spent, on the investigation to find surpluses.

Swindon Centric Says ; So what exactly are residents getting for their £20 to £70 a year in the parish? Gold plated wheelie bins? Plugholes that get water to spin the opposite way? If you're a local to the parish, please leave a comment or email us at and let us know what the extra is that you get!

CID Re-examining Town Murders & Rapes

A Major Investigation Team are looking at previously unsolved crimes in Swindon. But authorities are not confirming a connection with convicted murderer Ulrich Muenstermann, who hid from German authorities in Swindon in the early 1990s.

Muenstermann was arrested in 1993, at his house in the town. He had been a suspect, linked by DNA, in the killing of Karen Oehme in Dulmen, Germany. A French magistrate appealed for information from Swindon residents about him in connection with the 1989 killing of Sylvie Baton.

Swindon Centric Says ; If you have any information, click here.