Swindon Viewpoint, one of Britain’s most enduring TV channels, is celebrating its 40th birthday in mid-September.
In the 1970s, Swindon had such bad television reception that a cable network was begun which eventually spread across the town and later became the present Virgin service, and when the government licensed six local experiments in programming, Swindon Viewpoint was set up.
It was the only one to flourish, and the station continued to broadcast until the late 1980s, before funding and support from Virgin’s predecessor Swindon Cable was finally lost.
But Viewpoint still exists and its director, Martin Parry, has now created an online presence featuring a large number of the programmes made by Swindon people and company employees in its early days.
He is adding to the digitised archive all the time, which has become a fascinating treasure trove of moving images.
Online viewers can see local bands performing in YouTube-style videos, from long before the internet as we know it had been established.
Visitors to the website can also go behind the scenes at Swindon Town Football Club, visit different neighbourhoods around the town, and see how national news stories of the day were interpreted at a local level.
It even includes interviews with print journalists accusing the Swindon Evening Advertiser of being a scab paper in the strike of 1978.
Swindon Viewpoint will bring back lots of memories for many living in the town who will be able to revisit their own past and perhaps see old friends and family.
Learn more about the original YouTube and watch video output from 1970s to the present day at www.swindonviewpoint.com.