The old farms of North Swindon is one of the subjects to come under the microscope in the Winter 2013 edition of Swindon Heritage.
The quarterly magazine’s three founders celebrated the launch of their fourth edition on 23 November as well as the end of a hugely successful first year of publication.
Now Graham Carter, Great War historian Mark Sutton and Fran Bevan are looking forward to a busy 2014, which they hope will include a commemorative edition to mark the centenary of the Great War.
“It’s been an amazing first year for us and a huge learning curve,” said editor Graham. “But we couldn’t have done it without the support of local writers and historians, especially the members of the Swindon & District History Network and Swindon Council’s ever-enthusiastic library staff.
“Our list of subscribers is growing too. This is important to us as a not-for-profit social enterprise with no outside funding as it enables us to plan ahead.”
The 84-page winter edition of the magazine is packed with articles on Swindon’s fascinating history and opens with the story of McIlroys, the popular Regent Street department store that closed in 1998 after 123 years of trading.
Also included is a detailed look at the Spectrum building in West Swindon – below – which recently received Grade II* Listed status, and its connection with another former local landmark.
International bestselling romantic novelist Nicola Cornick invited the Swindon Heritage team round for coffee and a chat about writing and history. Nicola, who has written 35 historical romances and is published in 26 countries, has a soft spot for Swindon.
“She is a frequent visitor to Swindon and told us why she likes our town so much,” said Fran.
Clive Carter, chair of the Wiltshire Buildings Record and its Farmstead Project, continues his series of articles about Swindon’s former farms. The latest looks at the many farms which once occupied the area south and east of Thamesdown Drive.
Graham said: “It’s a fascinating story for anybody who lives in that part of town because there was once a huge concentration of small farms in an area now almost completely given over to housing.”
Swindon Heritage is available from Pen & Paper at 113 Victoria Road, STEAM and Swindon Central Library.
See a list of other stockists and how to buy the magazine or take out a subscription at: www.swindonheritage.com/wheretobuy
From the March 2002 Swindon Link magazine
Doug and Caryl Clifford pictured at Haydon Farm on Haydon End Lane.
Doug’s father John William drove 39 head of cattle from Purton to take up occupation in 1918.
The nearby site of special scientific interest where the rare green winged orchid is found is named Clifford Field because of the traditional farming practices that conserved the plants.
In 2006 the flower was chosen as the logo for Orchid Vale Primary School close to the farm.
Read more from the SwindonLink.com online archive: www.bit.ly/Haydonfarm-cliffords