Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bus Changes ; This Story Has (Misshapen) Wheels

The Thamesdown Transport bus changes are still being repeated as a story, four days after they came into effect.

Parents of children attending the Headlands Academy call the changes "ridiculous". They claim the retiming of a bus, twenty minutes earlier than before, has thrown their lives into chaos.

Once again though, the same issue comes through, that pupils can catch a different bus, which takes a longer route and includes a twelve minute walk.

Swindon Centric Says ; A retimed bus and a twelve minute walk are not "ridiculous", but the expectations and tolerance levels of the parents involved clearly are.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Are You Feet Aware?

In the absence of any news today, Swindon Centric has to resort to Public Service Announcements.

We'd like to make you aware that May is World Foot Health Awareness Month. So if you have any feet, or know anyone else who does, tell them to be aware of them.

Swindon Centric Says ; I've always had these feet.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Last Week Has Been...

- Let's see what 'talent' Swindon has (nightmares about plate spinners and fire eaters) week.

- No matter how much it rains, all ducks (plastic or otherwise) are unsinkable week.

- Swindon might have its own collection of eccentrics but we know there's a fine line between fun and death in chasing a double Gloucester down a hill week.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Swindon Cable Treasure Trove Of Videos

Just when we didn't expect to find a lot more of Swindon's history on archive video, we did!

Here is a three-parter about the cutback of the railway works and the end that everyone seemed to know before it was announced.

Visit the revived Swindon Cable website here or their own YouTube page here choc full of videos.

Swindon Centric Says ; Fascinating haul of videos!

Small Bus Changes Spark Late, Silly 'Outrage'

As mentioned, stories are pretty thin on Bank Holidays and this Monday has given a prime example. The bus changes happening tomorrow to Thamesdown Transports services have been blown out of context.

The change to the Penhill areas services was highlighted, with Mr and Mrs Howells narked at the cut to the number 10. In the print edition, not shown yet online, the couple state they already walk a "convenient 400 yards" to the bus stop.

Swindon Centric Says ; There are parts of West Swindon, notably Grange Park and Shaw where walking more than double that distance to catch bus services is the norm and has been since the estates were built. The people in those areas aren't screaming and shouting about this, probably because they don't mind walking.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 56

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. There's only so much I can take before I crave a Mars bar.

9. When did it become fashionable to use the word 'peeps'?

8. It gave me an insight I never thought I'd get.

7. We're twenty-five years old, we shouldn't be talking about this.

6. Due in about four minutes, that's your four minute warning.

5. Trying to find something to match, can't not be matching.

4. He's never slept well since the earthquake.

3. It's about thirty-four acres.

2. I fill the car with vegetable oil, I'm laughing.

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

1. I can't understand, there are millions of bras.

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

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fascinating Films On Swindon's Recent History Online

Take a look here, at the BBC Wiltshire website for a collection of films from the mid to late eighties about the threat and later closure of the rail works in town.

The first documentary, 'Jobs On The Line' tells the story of the threat to the works that came in 1982.

The second documentary, from 1985, 'Of Coppersmiths and Kings' and takes a look at the history of the line, Brunel and the GW150 celebrations in that year.

The third documentary, 'A Job For Life?' is a retrospective of 'Coppersmiths and Kings' and tells the immediate story of the closure announcement which many felt was a badly timed stab in the back with the imminent GW150 celebrations, much of which were called off or scaled back.

The fourth documentary, 'Off The Rails', charts the aftermath of the closure in 1986, it's effect on the workers and the town.

Swindon Centric Says ; These films are a true piece of recent Swindon history, so click on the links and venture 'inside'...

PS There's a fascinating interview with a worker who says the railway treated people like 'Honda does today' with pensions and health cover. Shows how the GWR set the standard for looking after the workforce far ahead of any other industrial manufacturer.

What We've Learnt For This Bank Holiday Weekend

There's usually a very thin spread of news over Bank Holiday weekends and Swindon hasn't missed out on any of it.

As a result there are two surefire ways to keep yourself, your property and your money safe this weekend.

1. Do not attempt to dump any garden waste this weekend as Swindon Borough Council staff will be hiding in bushes ready to catch and fine anyone disposing of domestic waste.

2. Meanwhile Wiltshire Fire & Rescue (the Fire Brigade) are warning stupid people who decide to spend the weekend doing DIY projects to be careful and not set fire to their houses.

Swindon Centric Says ; At least there's not been a huge story feature about Bank Holiday weather and traffic. But it is only Saturday, oops, that'll be Monday's lead story, damn!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Crutch Is An Old Story You Can Lean On

This story about a shortage of crutches at the Great Western Hospital has odd parallels with the one we first reported on over a year ago.

One thing is rather curious though. Its said that the shortage is due to an increase in injuries due to the warm weather. More sport being played, that type of thing. But surely it'd be worse in winter, due to people slipping and falling, when it's icy and frosty?

Is this the ultimate newspaper story, which can be recycled whatever the season?

Swindon Centric Says ; A story for all seasons. What a scoop!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 55

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. George Lamb is like Tim Westwood, but even worse.

9. There were 80,000 there, it's never happened before.

8. I will hunt him down, on my day off.

7. I remember when it used to cost a pound a litre, back in the day.

6. The ringing in my ear didn't stop for days.

5. De-spinning was attempted, it didn't go well.

4. Isn't organic just an excuse for farmers to be lazy?

3. How much further can this go?

2. There are several reasons he hasn't called me, none of which I wish to discuss in public, or in private.

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

1. Earlier this year I had my hair feng-shuied.

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

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Swindon Shows It's True Colours On Canal ; Sits On It's Arse With Arms Folded

The attitude of some in Swindon to the idea of a canal has been well documented lately. So today's news that nobody, not a single Swindonian has taken up the offer of a visit to Birmingham to see how regenerated canals can work in an urban setting, is sadly, not surprising.

Swindon Centric Says ; No doubt there will be plenty of reaction to this inaction. It all comes down to one thing, people are generally lazy and this case shows how little people really care about Swindon's future. So little in fact, that they choose to remain badly informed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 54

DISCLAIMER ; The above choice of photograph for this week's list is in no way an endorsement for Boris, the Conservatives or anything else you can think of. We just thought the people of London and elsewhere should be reminded of the person they've elected to run the nation's capital. The UK's very own George W Bush.

Look out for the coining of the phrase, 'Borisisms' pretty soon.

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. They're a great band.

9. It's subject to change.

8. I spent all afternoon watching a big screen TV next to McDonalds, time well spent.

7. It's humid enough to grow bananas.

6. Stick this somewhere and suck it.

5. Are people wanting Hillary to run as vice-president with Barack going to say "why don't you come on over Hillary"?

4. Let's see what happens when we tell him they're all out of Jaffa Cakes.

3. Off you jolly well go.

2. Everyone's having barbecues, food poisoning all round.

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

1. Can't you catch the next bus, I've got to catch up with myself.

Thanks to this week's contributors.

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

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sex Sex & More Sex Please

The Advertiser's obsession with prostitution continues with the blindingly obvious front page of today's edition.

Swindon Centric Says ; Next week are they planning to stand a reporter next to another road and then claim the traffic was noisy and polluting? What a shocking revelation.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Top Ten Things Heard On Swindon's Buses Last Week ; 53

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. You will be held to account in the end.

9. People go on about teenage antisocial behaviour, what about pensioner antisocial behaviour, there's plenty of narky OAPs out there.

8. I say, go to work on an egg.

7. That seat is taken.

6. Hillary Clinton should have kept her husband away for the start of the campaign, it's like "here's Billy" every time he pops up.

5. You got out of the wrong side of bed this morning, who's it was is a different matter.

4. The smell of charcoal briquettes drifted across our estate on the weekend, summer is here.

3. It's not Monday, it's Tuesday, I shouldn't be here.

2. Why can't someone invent a laser-guided husband?

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

1. From next week, this bus route will not exist, better start walking.

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

Friday, May 02, 2008

War Enactment Catches Town Off-Guard

A second world war re-enactment has taken most of central Swindon by surprise today, according to reports. The Swindon branch of the National Conflict Enactment Society today launched a whole four days of mock action in the Farringdon Road area during their May Day Weekend event.

Local residents were woken loudly at 6.03 this morning by the sound of air raid sirens brought into the GWR Park, many later found that their gas had been disrupted after the severing of pipes by a group of fourteen pensioners, dressed in period costume, digging a replica trench in the park. Following the small explosion, caused by the build up of gas (which experts nearby claimed sounded just like a 1940 road mine detonating), engineers worked quickly to restore supplies.

Roger Broadhurst, of Old Town, who was taking part in the exercise said that the borough council had been informed of the events and activities weeks ago, but clearly had forgotten what was planned.

The interview was cut short as he and the rest of the volunteers formed a human chain across Park Avenue to stop several Thamesdown and Stagecoach buses, which were then commandeered for a mock evacuation of local school children to the nearby countryside.

Traffic was further disrupted this evening as the society began cutting down lamp posts and traffic light poles for tomorrow's main event, the smelting down of the material and the construction of a spitfire in the park. The event starts at 8am tomorrow morning and all wanting to take part are advised to bring their own flying goggles, white scarf and oxyacetylene torch.

Swindon Centric Says ; Unscheduled air raids are tipped for tonight, all those in town, best to sleep with a colander on your head for safety.

This Week Has Been...

Lets Get Something Done With The Locarno Week.

Nation-wide No more than 45 Minutes Between Sharp & Heavy Showers Week.

Not Let The Voters Know There's Elections Week (supported by Swindon Borough Council & The Electoral Commission).

Swindon Sausage Roll & Pasty Amnesty Week.

More next week!

Stop Press ; Nothing Happens In Local Elections, Returning Officer Rumoured To Have Fallen Asleep

After a record amount of disengagement by the parties and candidates in the election campaign, the results reflected this.

That's correct, pretty much nothing happened.

There was a slight bit of fun, as the counters seemed to allocate an extra thousand votes, out the thin air to the conservatives, briefly declaring them the winner of ward, before objections led to the mistake being corrected.

Swindon Centric Says ; The returning officer can go back to sleep now and the very small number of electoral leaflets put in the recycling, at least the environment is safe.