A book of poetry written in collaboration with passengers on Swindon buses was the subject of a celebratory launch event on Friday 16 April.
The collection of poems, entitled Swindon Poem Omnibus, is the product of Thamesdown Transport’s ‘poetry in motion’ campaign, which took place last summer. The book was available to buy at the launch event, with all net proceeds being donated to Prospect Hospice.
Tony Hillier, Swindon’s resident community poet, took to the buses in July last year to share poetry with passengers and transform their thoughts and feelings into verse.
Tony said: “People shared their thoughts and reflections on all sorts of topics; we ended up with poems about the purpose of their journey, how they felt about the town and their memories.
“A few of the travellers had previously engaged in poetic activities and we’ve ended up with some lovely pieces.”
Paul Jenkins, Managing Director of Thamesdown Transport, said: “The project was inspired by an initiative on the London Underground that saw verses from famous poems being displayed at stations to cheer passengers up.
“Tony approached us with the idea and we were intrigued. The poems we’ve ended up with are fantastic and offer real insight.
“Thamesdown Transport is an established part of the local community, employing over 270 people and driving over 1,000 children to school every day, and we thought the poetry in motion project was a great way to celebrate the role that public transport plays in the everyday lives of local people.”
The book launch was held at Wharf Green in Swindon town centre when Tony was joined by one of Thamesdown Transport’s buses and read extracts from the book.
Members of the public who contributed to the collection of poems, attended the launch and enjoy hearing poems from the book being read aloud.
The poetry book is available to buy from Thamesdown Transport’s shop.