Tag: Railway Village

The efficient approach to building restoration

In these economically tightened times, how do you go about restoring a building in the most efficient way possible? Don’t know? Never mind, let Swindon Commercial Services be your guide.

First, get some banners specially made, that’ll only be of use for this one job.
Nice new banners. Photo © komadori
Next, give someone that most strenuous of tasks: being the ’elf ’n’ safety guard who stops pedestrians blundering into the path of passing buses, ’cos the pavement has been cordoned off.
Tiring work. Photo © komadori

Then hide those specially prepared signs with big wooden hoardings.
Where’d that sign go? Photo © komadori
Finally, as noted by Swindon Centric, paint the hoardings white. It’s nice to know that the newly pseudo-independent SCS is spending our money so carefully.

Update, Tuesday, 27 July 2010: As expected, the hoardings have now been fully painted in traditional white, ready for the graffiti taggers to do their worst.
Now in white. Photo © komadori

Ready for the Children

Ready for the children. Photo © komadori.
A little reminder that the Children’s Fete in Faringdon Road Park has just begun, with the grand opening and crowd photo at 1 pm. It runs until 10 pm.

Children’s Fete

The Children’s Fete in Faringdon Road Park is back this year on 17 July, from 12 noon to 10 pm, with the grand opening and crowd photo at 1 pm.

Thanks to Ms Leakey for drawing this to my attention in the comments.


Swindon Borough Council recently suggested that if the owner doesn’t do some basic maintenance of the Mechanics Institute building within the next three months they may compulsorily purchase it. According to Mr Singh in his latest tirade against against the council,

the south side of the building is complete.

Mr Singh clearly has a rather draughty and scaffolding-clad view of ‘complete’.
Completely incomplete. Photo © komadori.
Complete… with draughts. Photo © komadori.
As for the remainder of the building, it’s condition is deplorable.
Mechanics Institute north side. Photo © komadori.Mechanics Institute fly tower. Photo © komadori.
As Mr Singh now says he is accepting offers, perhaps an organisation with the funds and experience to restore this neglecting building will express an interest. In many ways, it could be an ideal public venue to compliment the nearby headquarters of the National Trust.

New year, same inaction

It seems to be just once a year that Mr Singh — owner of the GWR Mechanics Institute building — appears from his self-imposed inactivity to claim a little publicity for his newest far-fetched plans for the building. The story is always the same: how he’s done so much to maintain the buildings; how great his newest plans for the building are; and how Swindon Borough Council and English Heritage are obstructing him. This year is no exception.

The way the council is talking it’s like I’ve abandoned it completely. People would be amazed if they could see what is actually going on inside.

So poor is the state of the building now that it’s actually possible to see rather a lot of the inside whilst standing outside. All I see going on inside is more decay.

It really is time Mr Singh understood that if the council is blocking his plans, it’s because that’s what the planning regulations say they should be doing. And if Mr Singh isn’t prepared to abide by the development control laws in this country, then he shouldn’t be in the property development business.

Re-railing The Park

Re-railing the park. Photo © komadori 2010.Work has started to reinstate the railings around Faringdon Road Park. Although they will be less substantial than the originals — the brick piers are not stable enough to hold full-height railings — they’ll lift the park’s appearance. It remain’s Swindon’s most barren of parks, bereft of the well-kept flower beds to be found in the parks around Old Town.

Some of the coping stones being removed are stamped with the manufacturer’s mark from 1897. They seem to have been carefully removed and will make a reappearance atop the rebuilt heightened piers.

The train now arriving….

Swindon Borough Council today lifted a carriage into the former GWR Barracks in the Railway Village. It is to be a feature of their The Platform youth centre. These are highlights of a photographic record of the work to lift £10,500 of scrap railway carriage into place. The few slight scares were very slight indeed.
All photographs © komadori.

The Scene
The Scene
Preparing for the lift
Preparing for the lift
Great Western airborne
Great Western airborne
A tight fit
A tight fit
Putting it all back together
Putting it all back together
Man on the roof
Man on the roof
Almost done
Almost done

Seeing sense

Full marks to Mr Martin. Not only has he acknowledged that the decoration of the hoardings surrounding the GWR barracks in the Railway Village is inappropriate.

The ‘art’ surrounding the Platform sends a wrong message,…. Clearly the work is a little close to tagging for my liking.

He’s also accepted responsibility.

I accept the blame and admit that the art work was not quite what I expected…. Maybe I should have remembered that few patrons ever get the painting that they pay for.

Mr Perkins could learn a lot from him.

In the eye of the beholder

Art is a subjective thing, so it shouldn’t be surprising that opinions vary on the ‘art’ that now adorns the hoardings surrounding the barracks in the Railway Village. What’s more surprising is that Mr Perkins seems not to be aware of these differing views.

It’s a remarkable piece of artwork. There is a difference between graffiti and street art. I haven’t heard any complaints about this art. It lightens up the area. And now the talented artists are looking for other areas to show their work. It really is very high quality work.

If he hasn’t heard any complaints, perhaps he should try listening: it’s something councillors should try from time-to-time. I’ve heard several comments about the ‘art’ and none of them have shared Mr Perkins’ view. The closest any have come to praise is to observe that it’s better than the plain white hoardings surrounding the numerous demolition sites in central Swindon.

Yes, there’s a difference between street art and graffiti, but there is similar ‘street art’ in Swindon that has been illegally produced without the permission of the owners of the walls and fences it is on. Whilst this particular example is better than the tagging that would no doubt have appeared if the hoarding had been left painted plain white, encouraging this sort of decoration needs to be done with caution to avoid similar illegal defacement elsewhere.

Black is the new orange

As it wasAs it isI see that the railway village has been kitted out with new black boxes to replace the original orange recycling boxes. I presume it’s been done to reduce their visible impact in this historic area, but a pair of large black boxes are just as obvious as a pair of orange ones. As they seem to have been specially ordered for the area, I wonder if anyone considered making them a pale brown colour to better blend with the stone facades of the houses?