Back in the 1950s 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.
Fifty years ago the possibilities of local TV services was a glimmer, but it took until 1972 when the government licensed six local experiments and Swindon Viewpoint was set up. Of the six only Swindon’s project flourished and Viewpoint continued to the late 1980s before funding and support from Virgin’s predecessor Swindon Cable was lost.
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 is a fascinating treasure trove of moving images.
See local bands performing in YouTube style videos, go behind the scenes at Swindon Town FC, visit different neighbourhoods around the town, and catch how national news stories of the day are interpreted at a local level, including 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. It’s all at: www.swindonviewpoint.com